Devil on the Cross Wariinga Character analysis Essay

Decent Essays
Devil on the Cross: Wariinga Character Analysis and Development Devil on the Cross by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is a compelling and curious novel that examines both the physical and mental journey of a young woman, Wariinga. Along the way she encounters many people and challenges that shape her identity.
Eventually Wariinga develops into what Ngugi considers ideal Kenyan femininity to be. However, when the reader first encounters her in the novel, she is confused by the message of what it means to be beautiful by European standards. The gicaandi player describes Wariinga's mental distress over her image and says:
“Wariinga was convinced that her appearance was the root cause of all her problems. Whenever she looked at herself in the mirror
…show more content…
Her boyfriend refused to believe her because the gain that is associated with becoming a powerful man's "sugar girl" was thought to be irresistible to women, due to the fact that so many women gave into the temptation. In reality, this "temptation" was actually victimization; women like Wariinga who refused to sleep with their bosses were replaced with women who would. In order to break free from her restricted life, Wariinga must go on a quest to find her true identity. But to do this, she must first reject the cultural voice that tells her she is ugly and weak and discover her power as a woman and an individual. Through a journey to her hometown of Ilmorog, Wariinga gradually changes the way she views herself and how she operates in her society; she becomes a feminist. This not only means that she gets to reclaim her sexuality, she also is able to discard what she has assumed to be true about her identity in terms of Christianity, the work force, and the war for national Uhuru (independence). Her role in Uhuru is as important as her process of adopting feminist values.
Wariinga's sexuality is a major illustrates the sexual oppression of women in society. Early on, Wariinga gave into the neo-colonial voice as a schoolgirl and became the sugar girl of a man whom the text refers to as the Rich Old Man from Ngorika. This man remains nameless for two reasons; he is a symbolic representation of
Get Access