Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Grain of Wheat Summary Characters Themes

A Grain of Wheat

A Grain of Wheat is taken into account one among Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s greatest literacy achievements. The title derives from 1 Corinthians 15:36: "How foolish! What you sow doesn't come to life unless it dies"; the verse John 12:24 also applies: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the bottom and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” it's the penultimate book of Ngugi's to be written in English before he began writing in Gikuyu.

Ngugi wrote his novel when he was studying at Leeds University in 1964-66; he had received a British Council Scholarship and was conducting postgraduate work. He became distracted from his research MA by his reading and writing what would become the novel. He was inspired by the writings of Marx and Engel also as Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth; Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes was also a serious influence on A Grain of Wheat, as Ngugi had studied Conrad as an undergraduate

A Grain of Wheat Characters

A handsome, introverted, mysterious man who lives within the village and hung out within the detainment camps. Mugo is viewed by everyone as a hero because he worked with Kihika and never cracked struggling . He secretly was the one who betrayed Kihika, which he eventually admits after hearing Mumbi open up to him regarding her own life story; he announces he was guilty at the Uhuru celebration, which he originally thought he might attend during a capacity as savior of the people. he's nervous, filled with contradictory thoughts, and frustrated that folks think he's courageous and humble.

A wise elder of the village who was active in freedom movement in prior decades and is now preparing for the Uhuru celebrations. He encourages Mugo to talk , and later serves on his trial after he confesses.

The old woman
A strange and disturbed woman within the village whose deaf and dumb son is killed. She looks at Mugo in ways in which make him uncomfortable. At the top of the novel, he's drawn to her hut; she thinks he's her son, then she immediately dies.

A villager who boasts of being active within the Mau Mau and claims he was maimed within the Emergency. He likes to inform stories and make his own narrative.


The deaf and dumb son of the old woman. he's nevertheless strong and has many lovers. he's killed by policemen who assume he's a Mau Mau terrorist.

Mugo's cruel and drunken aunt with whom he lives; he wishes he could kill her, but she dies of unhealthiness .

A woman within the village who looks older than she is. She carried secrets from villages during the Emergency and have become famous for staving off a police search of her person. After Uhuru, though, she seems demoralized.

A member of the Mau Mau and husband of Mumbi, he spends years during a detention home dreaming of returning to her. he's bitter and disillusioned when he comes back and finds she features a child by another man. He throws himself into work and becomes wealthy; he's a model for people within the village. he's injured within the Uhuru celebration, but this enables him to start out performing on his attitude toward Mumbi.

The beautiful sister of Kihika who dreams of sacrifice and noble deeds, she falls crazy with Gikonyo when she is young and yearns for him while he's away within the detention home . When she hears from Karanja (who also loved her but whom she detests) that Gikonyo is coming home, she yields to Karanja's advances and bears a toddler by him. She confides her story to Mugo, and he successively tells her he betrayed Kihika. She doesn't want him or anyone else to suffer for her brother, though. At the top of the novel she is on the brink of a reconciliation with Kihika.
The brother of Mumbi and a brave insurgent within the Mau Mau. he's liable for killing DO Robson and taking up Mahee prison, becoming a hero to the people. he's betrayed by Mugo and is captured and hanged. His life and deeds are legendary, and a part of Uhuru is meant to celebrate him.

Harry Thuku
An early leader of the Movement who is jailed, sparking a processional to free him.

General R
A serviceman (he served in WWII) whose goals are to urge Mugo to talk at Uhuru and to punish Kihika's betrayer. he's stern and quiet and doesn't boast or become involved in politics. When he was young he had a tyrannical father whom he wanted to kill, and was distressed when his mother stood up for his father albeit he beat her. He arrests Mugo and takes him to trial after Mugo confesses.
A serviceman who serves with General R. As a young man he worked for Dr. Lynd but was bitter against her; along side two other men, he attacked her and her dog. When he sees her years later he refers to her a ghost.

An old flame of Kihika's who unsuccessfully tried to woo Mumbi once they were young. Karanja is prideful, spiteful, and happy to cooperate with the whites if it means he can lord over others. While others are fighting or interned, he becomes a homeguard and eventually a Chief. He also pursues Mumbi and gets her to roll in the hay him while Gikonyo is away; she bears his child but refuses to be during a relationship with him. After he's told to step down from being Chief, he's employed at Githima and tries to cultivate the great will of Thompson. he's suspected of getting betrayed Kihika; even after Mugo confesses to being truth betrayer, Karanja remains unhappy and disillusioned.

Mr. Rogers
The European who has the thought to open a Forest Research Station in Githima; he's killed by a train and doesn't live to ascertain this happen.

Dr. Henry Van Dyke
A corpulent, drunken meteorologist at the Station who has an affair with Margery Thompson; he dies after a train strikes his car.

A Kenyan who works at Githima and sometimes annoys Karanja.

John Thompson
The DO at Githima, Thompson was once destined for an illustrious career, but the fast and violence led by Mugo at Rira ruined his fortunes. He now oversees Githima and lives together with his wife Margery, although their relationship is fraught. he's preparing to return to Britain because he doesn't want to stay when in Githima blacks are in power.

Mrs. Dickinson
The librarian at Githima and girlfriend of Roger Mason. She orders Karanja around, which Karanja resents.

Margery Thompson
The beautiful and buxom wife of Thompson, she carries on an affair with Van Dyke until he dies. She is restless with Thompson but later feels closer to him once they're leaving.

Dr. Lynd
A plant pathologist who works at Githima, she is unmarried and likes living in Kenya albeit the time of white rule is passing. She is naive and self-centered, thinking she is sweet to Africans although she is really condescending towards them. Years ago, Koina, her houseboy, and his compatriots assaulted her; they also killed her beloved dog, which looms large in her psyche. Thompson finds her annoying.

Jomo Kenyatta
Although he doesn't appear within the text, Kenyatta may be a force behind the actions of the text. he's a pacesetter of the Kenyan people and thrown into jail by British . He doesn't approve of the Mau Mau, and is inspiring to the people.

A Grain of Wheat Summary, a grain of wheat in english literature, english literature, a grain of wheat summary in hindi, a grain of wheat in hindi

The MP
The representative of the village who rarely visits. He cares more about his own power and position than his constituents. he's untruthful about buying Burton's land when Gikonyo involves see him a few loan.

Gikonyo's father, a hardworking squatter and lothario who got obviate Wangari and Gikonyo, their son.

Gikonyo's mother. She usually takes Mumbi's side within the martial conflict and criticizes her son.

Mumbi, Kihika, and Kariuki's father; he's an elder, a warrior, and a farmer. he's well-respected and favors his son Kihika.

Mumbi, Kihika, and Kariuki's mother. She is critical of her daughter for leaving Gikonyo.

The brother of Kihika and Mumbi, and therefore the son of Mbugua and Wanjiku. he's not a member of the Mau Mau, and Karanja helps secure him an edge in lyceum .

The Reverend Jackson Kigondu
A well-respected Christian who encourages Kihika to travel to high school . He was active within the revivalist movement and thought of himself a Christian soldier. He was killed by the Mau Mau.

Teacher Muniu
A teacher at Kihika's school who doesn't like being corrected by the young. Plans to beat Kihika publicly.

A friend of Mumbi and Njeri's who is initially involved Kihika but becomes depressed when he leaves for the forest. Later, Mugo saves him from a beating she received while performing on the ditch . She is killed, and was possibly pregnant.

A Grain of Wheat Summary

A Grain of Wheat takes place in Kenya on the brink of its Uhuru (independence from British colonial rule) in December 1963. Although historical events anchor the story in real world , Ngũgĩ’s preface to the book tells us that the characters themselves are fictional – except when reference is formed to national historic leaders (such as Kenya’s first president after Uhuru, Jomo Kenyatta).
Over a period of 4 days leading up to independence, the people of the village of Thabai ready themselves for the celebration of freedom. However, the troubling events of a not-too-distant past still affect the book’s characters. Many of the Kikuyu people (the largest ethnos in Kenya) were somehow suffering from the Mau uprising (beginning in 1952). As a response to the present uprising, British government responded by declaring a state of emergency (referred to because the Emergency), during which era any of the people in Thabai or surrounding villages might be forcibly detained, imprisoned and tortured as suspected conspirators.

Although the narrative generally moves forward to the Uhuru celebration, these issues from the past still haunt the story’s characters. A Grain of Wheat features a unique narrative style, which shifts its point of view from one character to a different , often within the space of one page. Occasionally, the narrative slips into a primary person plural “we” because the voice of the village is heard when recalling important events. Each character features a present-day crisis, but each features a history also , therefore the novel frequently shifts from the present-day happenings to the past and back again, allowing characters to reveal their experiences and innermost thoughts.
The story revolves around a couple of central characters, whose experiences during the Emergency have altered their present-day lives. Some were detained; some tortured in detention. Others turned against their countrymen, working for British administration or betraying members of the Rebellion to save lots of themselves. For the villagers of Thabai, one loss especially – that of Kihika, a person known for his heroic actions against British during the Emergency – has united them. Although he has been dead for several years, it's Kihika’s story that gives a backdrop for the narrative also as a framing device for the story. The new sections of the book are introduced by passages underlined in Kihika’s Bible.
Much of the present-day narrative revolves around various people of Thabai trying to convince Mugo, a quiet man considered a hero for his actions during the Emergency, to talk at the Uhuru celebration. Mugo seems strangely reluctant – actually , he's hiding a dark secret which will emerge only much later within the narrative. Gikonyo and Mumbi, an estranged husband and wife, both hunt down Mugo to influence him to participate and within the process find yourself revealing their own secrets of life during the Emergency to Mugo.

While the native Kenyans are preparing for his or her independence, British administrators are preparing to go away Kenya once the govt has been transferred to black power. John Thompson, once a perpetrator of cruel acts against detainees and now a disgraced official, is depressed at the thought of British abandoning their progress – his life’s work – in Kenya. Karanja, a Kikuyu who worked for British as a member of the homeguard during the Emergency, is additionally distressed at the thought of the transfer to black power, as he will lose his favored status among the white administrators and therefore the respect and fear of his own people. However, Karanja hopes to stay in Thabai to be on the brink of Mumbi, who he has long loved and whose child he fathered while Gikonyo was in detention. it's Karanja who is suspected by most of the villagers of Thabai because the one that betrayed the heroic Kihika, Karanja’s boyhood friend.

As more and more secrets and desperate acts from the Emergency are revealed through the narration, it becomes clear that Mugo, regarded by many as a hero to rival Kihika, was actually liable for Kihika’s death. Mugo finally confesses the maximum amount to Mumbi, although she keeps his secret. At the Uhuru celebration, the traitor is asked to return forward, and lots of check out Karanja. However, it's Mugo who confesses and is later led away by the soldiers of the new regime. Karanja, having lost his place within the new society and any hope of Mumbi’s love, leaves Thabai. within the book’s final scene, Gikonyo realizes his love for Mumbi still stands and plans to reconcile together with her .

 A Grain of Wheat Themes

Colonialism and its Legacies
Kenya was colonized by British in 1895 and wasn't independent until 1963. within the subsequent years the country struggled to barter a post-colonial reality during which the divisions caused by political and economic oppression, the Emergency, violence, racism, exploitation of rivalry and competition amongst Kenyans, and psychological trauma endured and deepened. albeit Ngugi doesn't take his readers into the times after colonialism, he hints at the difficulties the characters will face. Thompson's claim that Africa will always need Europe might not be true within the sense he wishes it to be, but it's prescient therein Europe's involvement within the region can never fully be erased. Finally, on a more personal level, all of the characters' lives are suffering from colonialism, whether or not they are in detention camps or the Movement or losing their homes and land or trying to repair their fractured families or handling paternalistic colonial administrators. Colonialism is an inescapable reality, even after it's ostensibly over.

Individuals and therefore the Community
The novel's narrative focuses on the individual, with time given to Mugo, Mumbi, Gikonyo, Karanja, Kihika, and even minor characters like General R and Koina. Individual stories are significant, especially Mumbi's, as they facilitate greater growth for the self and for the community. As for that community, it's also Ngugi's focus, and one that has attracted an outsized amount of critical writing discussing whether or not he successfully managed to convey the struggles of the masses at an equivalent time as he relayed the individuals' tales. Indeed, a number of the individual characters seem as if they're thinly drawn so as to market the understanding that they're merely a part of the Kenyan people as an entire , and when individuals do make choices for themselves those choices reverberate back through the community.

Betrayal, Guilt, and Redemption
Almost every character feels guilty about something during this novel, and people sources of guilt tend to derive from a betrayal of another character or of the Kenyan people. Mumbi has betrayed her husband, Karanja has betrayed his people by becoming a homeguard and Chief, and Mugo has betrayed Kihika. These characters manifest their guilt differently, with both Mumbi and Mugo eventually taking the trail toward redemption while Karanja can only choose that of exile. Mumbi and Mugo's redemption comes from open confession of their sin and a willingness to simply accept the results . Mumbi's also comes from being faithful herself and regaining control of her life; she is going to be ready to live out those choices, whereas Mugo's fate is death. Nevertheless, Mugo's death offers redemption to the community as an entire .

Many of the characters during this novel do reprehensible things: they betray loved ones and therefore the ir community and the Movement, they commit acts of violence, they engage in selfishness and bitterness, and that they compete and fight with one another . Some characters invite forgiveness (either directly or subtly), while others don't . Forgiveness is vital on both a private and communal level, and people levels are associated with one another . Individuals must work to forgive those that have wronged them so as to figure together to create a stronger community. within the vacuum left by British rule, it'll be more important than ever for Kenyans to trust one another , work together, and make a mutually sustaining and fulfilling community. Mugo's public confession, an act of posing for forgiveness, is critical , and indicates a model for the longer term .

Power of Nature

Kenya has extremes of temperature, weather, and landscape; nature features a thematic also as literal importance within the novel. Fertile land of one's own (the shambas) signifies autonomy, independence, and fulfillment. The detention home located within the hot, barren sandy desert signifies monotony, despair, emptiness, and estrangement.
The sun are often warm and life-giving or burning-hot and oppressive. Rain are often cleansing or a dark omen of troubles to return . The forest may be a place to cover safely also as an area to commit acts of violence. Digging within the earth are often sustaining or it are often traumatic (the trench). Ngugi's weaving of nature into his story isn't surprising given its prominence in Kenya's history and society, and also is a useful literary tool to suggest, signify, and convey.

Violence is an undeniable a part of the Movement. Many characters perform violent acts, speak positively of violence, or ignore it when it happens ahead of them. Others decry and excoriate it, but usually this happens when British or their African loyalists roll in the hay . Ngugi's view of violence is thus complex. He understands that violence is important to the Mau Mau because occasionally it's the sole tool they need in their quest to throw off their colonial oppressor. That oppressor uses violence with abandon, so why should the oppressed not get up and use violence for his or her own ends? Ngugi isn't unequivocally supportive of violence, though, and a number of other of his scenes (such because the scene between Koina and Dr. Lynd) make the reader uncomfortable and hint at a number of the issues of using violence in promoting human rights.

Silence and Confession

Silence during this novel rarely results in redemption, whereas confession does. Mugo's silence about his role in Kihika's death is poisonous, disturbing his own psyche and polluting the health of the community. it's mistaken for courage and helps create the mythic reputation he has within the village, but it's false. Silence also can cause death, because it does for the deaf and mute Gitogo. Real healing only happens when someone speaks up, confesses, and divulges secrets. Mumbi's story and therefore the resulting confession from Mugo tear off the facade of unity and permit a more authentic (albeit painful) reality to emerge; this reality allows for an honest assessment of the community's divisions and wishes , and facilitates a move toward a far better future.

A Grain of Wheat Summary in Hindi