July’s People

by

Nadine Gordimer

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on July’s People can help.

The Man with the Red Box Character Analysis

The man with the red box is something of a wandering beggar and the rural region’s equivalent of “travelling entertainment.” He travels to villages throughout the area with a red box containing a record player and amplifier to project music. When the man wanders into July’s village toward the end of the book, the community comes together for a celebration called “gumba-gumba,” which involves music, drinking, and dancing.
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The Man with the Red Box Character Timeline in July’s People

The timeline below shows where the character The Man with the Red Box appears in July’s People. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
The man with the red trunk passes by Maureen and announces his arrival to the village. Maureen... (full context)
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
The man projects music from an amplifier kept in the box, and the villagers pass around beer.... (full context)
Chapter 19
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...the distinct sense “of not being there,” the same feeling she’d had upon watching the man with the red box approach the village. Suddenly, the only person she can be is “Maureen Hetherington on her... (full context)