Discuss the characterization and the role of Mumbi in the novel " A Grain of Wheat".

Essay by hunuamuz September 2006

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In the novel "A Grain of Wheat" written by Ngugi WA Thiong'o the character of Mumbi can be described as a beautiful and very influential figure for example "her eyes were soft and submissive and defiant". With her beauty and natural charisma she is used to link all the important themes, ideas, characters and even some of the symbols of the novel. Ngugi makes use of a number of different themes to convey his ideologies, it is in these themes that the reader come across the specific characteristics of Mumbi and can really come to terms with the novel from a female point of view.

Mumbi is the only central character in the novel that is female. This fact is a message from Ngugi to the reader telling them that Mumbi is to be a significant part of the novel. She is also Kihika's sister. Kihika is the most idolized character in the novel.

He is considered the leader of the people and leads the movement. With Kihika being like this Ngugi brings Mumbi into the novel with a jumpstart on the other characters. She is of the same bloodlines of Kihika so the reader can expect to see important things coming from her.

Mumbi is an object of great interest and affection. She is courted by both Karanja and Gikonyo. Ngugi uses the affection of Karanja and Gikonyo to foreshadow the underlying animosity between the Whiteman and the Kenyan People. Karanja represents the Whiteman while Gikonyo represents the Kenyan people. Gikonyo represents the Kenyan people because it was him that went to the detention camps for 6 years to protect the oath of the Mau Mau. In contrast to this Karanja confessed the oath immediately and then became the creature of the Whiteman. He turned on his...