Imperialism In Ngugi Wa ThiongO's The River Between

Decent Essays

In the book The River Between, Ngugi wa Thiong’o details of the division of an African community, home to the Gikuyu people, the arrival of the white missionaries, and the destruction of traditional African life by European imperialism. Throughout the book, Ngugi wa Thiong’o uses events that transpire to address real life events that are taking place during this time period in Africa due to European imperialism. He uses Waiyaki and the other characters in the book to explain the change that occurs in African societies and the conflict that imperialism creates. Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s The River Between addresses conflicts that African societies face as a result of European imperialism and the arrival of the white missionaries, which ultimately changes the layout and of entire communities. In The River Between, Ngugi wa Thiong’o uses Waiyaki’s story to address conflicts that occur in these African societies, such as the invasion of white missionaries, the internal conflicts of the tribe, and European imperialism as a whole. In the book, there is division among the Gikuyu people when the white missionaries invade their lands. The tribe becomes split into two villages: Komeno, where the traditional community resides, still adhering to all of the tribe’s traditions and customs, and Makuyu, where the converts to Christianity reside. The biggest divide between these two groups is the tradition of circumcision. In the Gikuyu community of Komeno, the tradition has always been that

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