Butterfly Burning Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Butterfly Burning.
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Phephelaphi

Phephelaphi is the novel’s protagonist. Though the reader does not learn about her life in a chronological order, the reader can eventually piece together a chronology of her life. Phephelaphi was born to a mother named Getrude, a sex worker who was killed by one of her clients, a jealous white police officer. After her mother’s death, Phephelaphi was taken into the care of her mother’s closest friend and another sex worker, Zandile. Phephelaphi eventually leaves Zandile’s apartment when she meets and falls in love with Fumbatha.

Phephelaphi’s relationship with Fumbatha constitutes the majority of this novel. It is unclear exactly why Phephelaphi is drawn to Fumbatha; however, the older Fumbatha’s stability and tranquility seems to complement Phephelaphi’s more carefree and ambitious nature. Initially, the couple spends time in their new home, decorating and sleeping together. However, over time Phephelaphi and...

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This section contains 810 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Butterfly Burning Study Guide
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