Some led a life of self destruction by becoming alcoholics or even engaging in illicit activity. Some like Xuma became angry radicals. Abraham shows the characters frustrations with the capitalist system that was enforced on them. There were few job opportunities, therefore leaving them with almost no options. Working in the mine was not a desired job and neither were most of the other occupations available, which led them to pursue alternative paths for income. The paths many characters took were paths that led to ultimate destruction and chaos, however these were the unfortunate consequences of imperialism and imposed systems.
There is also significant mental destruction on the characters that is a direct result of the apartheid and imperialism which takes place. For example Eliza, she struggles with a sense of identity. This is a typical result of being oppressed. The oppressed begin to believe what their oppressors claim they are and proclaim about them. The oppressed in this case Eliza, begin to identify both with their oppressors as well as the others in her own group. This causes a great deal of conflict and confusion within the individual and socially as well.