A Grain of Wheat study guide contains a biography of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong. provide critical analysis of A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat includes an introduction.

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A major point of the book seems to be the impossibility of living up to the heroic ideal. There is a frequent presence, in English, of local words, from “Uhuru”, the swahili word meaning freedom, in particular the political independence of Kenya that is being achieved. I wish I had known to pay attention to the characters in the beginning, and to realize that they’d reappear in very different incarnations later in the novel.

As with Cyprus, the heroes are about to experience independence. The past time is almost equal in length if not longer from the present. Written in only three years after independence, t An impressive novel that takes a bit of concentration to figure out the various characters and changes in the time of the event.

When the characters Gikonyo and Mumbi get married, in love and just starting their lives, Gikonyo is sent to detention. Turns out this is a complex story with a lot of names many of them similara lot of jumping back and forth between past and present, a lot of connections between the characters that come clear only as the story goes on.

Very bleak and dark. Nov 24, Meg rated it really liked it Recommends it for: As events unfold, compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed and loves are tested. Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller.


The story was set wheaat the late s and s and depicted an unhappy love affair in nguhi rural community divided between Gtain converts and non-Christians.

What is Uhuru, and did Thiong’o’s characters truly attain it?


One example to illustrate is that of Thompson, who thinks that ‘ This is one of my favorite books. The book shows the foundations upon which modern Kenya ngui built. A rival of Gikonyo, in love with Mumbi, he is the friend of the colonialists, in order to save his own hide.

There is no direct description, but from the songs and proverbs mentioned we can reconstruct a mythical past: She lay in the sun and ardently yearned for a life in nguti love and heroism, suffering, and martyrdom were possible.

Kihaka is an idealist who talks of Jesus Christ and the need for sacrifice, who idolises Ghandi with his struggle for independence though passive resistance.

Then a martyr and a hero.

A Grain of Wheat

And, with betrayal, existential solitude, involving everyone even whites: Indeed, women, starting with a central character named Mumbi, represent wisdom, sensibility, all the positive things you might be looking for. There are plenty of different opinions within nationalism as well.

He may be simply a pragmatist, a collaborator, or an informer. There are costs to the peace as well. The lf british government has been toppled, and in the lull between the fighting and the new world, colonized and colonizer alike reflect on what they have gained and lost. I really hated the book and loved nguugi at the same time.

But i eventually got the concept of the book and began to understand the story frain and got accustom to the author’s style and technique. Kenya This was not an easy novel.


A Grain of Wheat : Ngugi Wa Thiong’o :

De todos modos es desgarradora. A Grain of Wheat was of biting relevance at the time of its publication inand the questions it provokes resonate up to the present time. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying something that I don’t understand fully, but I would say that the nguugi of Ngugi’s argument is that the political situation during the Kenyan rebellion against the UK destroyed all individuals involved, to greater or lesser extent, and that though some of the choices people made may seem reprehensible, they all had their root in some combination of the hope, selfishness, love, fear, and courage that we all harbor just beneath the surface.

The second half was quite good, though not so much that I wanted to read the first half all over again. This is not an easy book. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

In the end it forces you to consider what the independence definition of a hero ought to be, and that people’s decisions were not simply guided by the question of whether to collaborate or to resist during the War of Independence at all times. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village’s chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. I just wanted to come home. Interestingly, I think the novel also foreshadows the troubles that were to plague the new nation, such as corruption by politicians.