Reader Response And A Grain Of Wheat Essay

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F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The reason one writes isn't the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say." This quote applies directly to Ngugi Wa Thiong’s novel A Grain of Wheat. One could infer from this quote that some writers write not just for the enjoyment derived from it, but rather out of a feeling of obligation to let readers hear what they may have to say. Ngugi’s message that he feels obligated to convey is delivered, however, he uses a very unusual writing technique to arrive there. He wants the readers to understand the pain, suffering, and confusion that took place during the Emergency. Through jumbled chronological order, numerous character and point of view changes, and a powerful…show more content…
When Part two begins with chapter four, the setting of the book has completely changed. Within this chapter, the readers start out with another short history lesson that is completely out of context from the previous reading. Ngugi then shifts to Karanja and his multiple inner battles. The readers are now left pondering what time period and which characters thoughts they are reading.
The fact that Ngugi begins this novel, and concludes it, after the Emergency without maintaining chronological sequence is what begins to make this story so unique. Although he is moving across a vast time period, the chronology is never consistent. He manages to explore a sixty-year time period while remaining focused on the six days leading up to Uhuru. Basically, the readers are forced to become deadlocked into the book and examine every minute detail that is thrown at them. If the readers do not do this, then it is most likely that they will miss a key detail in the book and be confused for the rest of the novel. During Ngugi’s chronological jumps throughout the book, he constantly switches the point of view along with which character the story focuses on. This forces the readers to go into each chapter reading without knowing who or what is going to come next. This also forces the readers to pay close attention to every sentence of the book while maintaining their sanity. This loss of sanity is due to the fact that the readers are
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