English Seminar Capstone Research Papers

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Capstone Project

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Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s novel A Grain of Wheat, published in 1967, exposes the ways in which British institutions and practices continue to plague post-colonial Kenya. This novel addresses the condition of post-colonial Kenya as native Kenyans struggle to form a new national identity and government. This novel exposes the corruption of the Christian Church and the cultural imperialism perpetuated by missionaries as they impose European practices and abolish Kenyan cultural values. Ngugi’s work reflects the influence of Marxist thought and the impact of writers such as Frantz Fanon whose neo-colonialist theory explains many of the phenomena present in post-colonial Kenya. In particular, Fanon notes that post-colonial nations retain the institutions of the former colonizing nation and therefore are still subject to colonial structures even after gaining independence. The result is that classism endures and the separation between the bourgeoisie and the lower classes continues.


A Grain of Wheat, Ngugi Wa Thiong

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