Syvert is a rather complicated character. While on the surface he is a weakling, clinging to his wife Kjersti for comfort, and on his friends Per Hansa and Hans Olsa for physical help, he is nonetheless a man of some conviction and courage. The very fact that he is on the prairie is proof of this. He is also a man of considerable ingenuity and knowledge, as attested to by his ability to reap and to brew beer. Tönseten seems to realize his own weaknesses, but tries to bluff his way through life.