Name symbolism and character types in Ngugi wa Thiongo's later novels.
This thesis deals with character types and name symbolism ln Ngugi's later novels. In the sense of representativeness, this thesis shows that these devices reinforce each other and become a bold artistic way of encapsulating the social reality. The study is based on the premise that name symbolism and character typology is an approach to the literary productions of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o that remains unexplored to date. In this thesis "Name Symbolism and Character Types in Ngugi wa Thiongo's later Novels we undertake to open up this area for literary discussion. Our contention is that name symbolism and character types are devices through which the social reality is encapsulated and analyzed and comprise a fresh way of understanding Ngugi's later novels. From this encapsulation, authorial partisanship and worldview is decipherable, the two devices serving as the author's artistic expression of the class realities of his society. The thesis is based on Ngugi's three novels Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross, and Matigari ma Njiruungi. The earlier novels, Weep Not Child, The River Between and A Grain of Wheat are excluded from the discussion on the basis that in them the character name is not depicted as a symbol. The character name is therefore not a foregrounded element as in the later works. The character type as the derivative of the social forces and as the finite expression of the infinite has not crystallized in these early novels. The prevalence of these devices in the later novels forms the basis of our discussion. The thesis is divided into three chapters. Chapter One; Ngugi's Life and Art; The reflection of a briefly touches on the reflection of the worldview in the art. We show how Ngugi's peasant background has influenced his worldview which in turn determines the choice of a creative method. The concepts of the symbol and character types are defined lYl this chapter which also includes a belief literature review. In Chapter Two: "Name Symbolism and Character Types in Petals of Blood", the occurrence of name symbolism and character types is discussed in relation to the thematic concerns of the novel. An effort is made to show how the character name and type relate to 'the author's mediation of the social reality and how the choice of the protagonists relates to the author's worldview. Chapter Three discusses name symbolism and character types in Devil on the Cross and Matigari ma Njruungi. Again, the discussion relates form to content, showing that the analysis of the social reality at the level of content is enhanced by form. The conclusion ties the use of the name symbol and character types to the artistic realization of the novels under , consideration. We show that through name symbolism and the character types, we get a fresh and insightful understanding of Ngugi's worldview and the social realities that he depicts.
CitationM.A (Literature) Thesis 1989
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
Faculty of Arts, University of Nairobi
Master of Arts Thesis