Colonialism In The River Between

Decent Essays

Influences of Settler Colonialism
Settler colonialism is the replacement of an indigenous populations cultural identity with the beliefs and customs of an imperial power. Throughout the novel entitled "The River Between," the influence of settler colonialism can be seen through their conversion of Christianity, their new economic and political involvement in Europe, and their new-found appreciation for education.
A major influence derived from settler colonialism is the expansion of Christianity amongst the Gikuyu people. The spread of Christianity or, to some, the epidemic of Christianity, began a major divide between the two ridges of Kenya. The conversions tested the loyalty of the tribe members and created a sense of insecurity as to whether or not the "white man" would destroy the sacred practices of their people. This insecurity brought on questioning and hatred thrown between the Makuyu and Kameno people. A tribe once unified, was now being torn apart due to the influence of the Europeans. Each person in the tribe made a choice to either practice the tribal rituals and customs, such as circumcision, or to leave and follow a new faith that denied all relation to the ethnicity they had grown accustomed to. We read of people, such as Nyambura and Muthoni, who went through doubts towards their faith and some such as Waiyaki, who were stuck in the middle. We see the development of the terms traitor and rebel. Muthoni becomes the symbol of rebellion, after her death,

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