The main character in Jomo Kenyatta's short story "The Gentlemen of the Jungle" is an unnamed African man. The man’s outer characterization is brief. The story focuses more on his circumstances and his humanity: he lives in a “a little hut at the edge of the forest” (p. 170, l. 3), and he is weaker than the animals, as he has no “teeth and claws” (p. 173, l. 15) like them. He also speaks an African dialect: “He sat down and said, 'Ng'enda thi ndagaga motegi,'…” (p. 173, l. 23)
These details suggest that the character is a representation of a typical African man. Because the story is symbolic, the man also represents all Africans who live in African colonies. The modest hut and the lack of claws and teeth are, therefore, a symbol of Africans’ weaker social and economic power compared to their colonisers’.
The man’s inner characterization is constructed through the narrator’s and the other characters’ perspec...