AN EXAMINATION OF THE THEME OF BETRAYAL IN THE NOVELS OF MEJA MWANGI.

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AN EXAMINATION OF THE THEME OF BETRAYAL IN THE NOVELS OF MEJA MWANGI.

Abstract:

This d i s s e r t a t i o n examines a l a r g e l y n e g l e c t ed theme of Mwangi’s n o v e l s , b e t r a y a l . Neglect of t h is theme r e s u l t s in d i s t o r t i o n , and i n some i n s t a n c e s, t o t a l m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Mwangi. This l i m i t a t i o n is common with a few c r i t i c s of Mwangi’s work. These c r i t i c s are content with w r i t i n g about t h e obvious; the i l l s of t h e s o c i e t y without f i r s t examining t he fundamental c a u s o ( s ). The d i s s e r t a t i o n t a k e s a c l o s e r look at the novels of Meja Mwangi with not only t h e i n t e n t i o n of i d e n t i f y i n g t h e ‘ o r i g i n a l s i n ‘ , but what or who was r e s p o n s i b l e for it and t h e consequences of t h e e n t i re e x p e r i e n c e . The study p r o v i d e s a t h e o r e t i c a l framework by f i r s t examining t h e o n t o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n of b e t r a y a l before reviewing f u n c t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s by o t h e r w r i t e r s. B e t r a y a l in t h i s context is seen as a n e g a t i o n of i d e a l s . I n e v i t a b l y , t h e novels of Mwangi are a s e r i o u s i n d i c t m e n t of b e t r a y e r s who are l a r g e l y l e a d e rs of t h e p e o p l e . The novels a l s o defend t h e cause of t h e oppressed as well as p r o f e r , in some i n s t a n c e s, s o l u t i o n s t o t h e c y c l i c a l a p o s t a s y . The study a l so examines t h e sources of t h e a u t h o r ‘ s c r e a t i v i t y , his v i s i o n and r e s p o n s e s of t h e p e o p l e. Mwangi’s a e s t h e t i c s i n c l u d e an e f f e c t i v e use of s e t t i n g as well as symbols, e s p e c i a l l y Timau P o l i c e Post in Carcase for Hounds, Number Nine in Kill, Me Quick and Development House in Going Down River Road. He also pays attention to details such as street filth and odour. This, reader deduces that the disharmony in colonial societies and the subsequent chaos in the neo-colonial era are traceable to betrayal. While this-reader knows that Mwangi is not radically different from his predecessors, he acknowledges that he is refreshi ngly new, blunt and r e a l i s t i c.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE THEME OF BETRAYAL IN THE NOVELS OF MEJA MWANGI.

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