Philadelphia Fire Characters

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P hiladelphia Fire is unique in its combination of real and fictional characters, including Cudjoe, Wideman, J.B., and Caliban. Cudjoe, the fictionalized protagonist, returns from a decade in Greece to search for Simba, the shadowy survivor of the 1985 bombing of a Rastafarian cult by Philadelphis city officials. He never finds the boy, but his reflections on the city, his old neighborhood, and his own identity provide the structural basis for the narrative. Cudjoe's search for answers becomes the reader's own.

Cudjoe is a well-educated, successful writer. His self-imposed exile on the island of Mykonos is a flight from the harshness of life in Philadelphia. By leaving the country, Cudjoe avoids becoming either a drop-out like J.B., the homeless man, or a sell-out like Timbo, successful aide to the mayor.

His ambivalence about his heritage and identity also shows up in his marriage to a white woman...

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This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Philadelphia Fire Short Guide
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Philadelphia Fire from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.