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The River Between, By Ngugi Wa Thiong'o

1851 words - 7 pages

Waiyaki is a young man who tackles the responsibility of mending the two ridges of Makuyu and Kameno that separated because of the religious of Christianity. The River Between, written by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, captures the ramifications of the white men religions and its effects on the two mountain ridges, that is separated by the Honia river, while the story surrounds around Waiyaki as he blossoms. In the story, Waiyaki, also known as The Teacher, is a strong, gallant young man that believes in the old ritual ways of the original tribe; however he conjointly intermingles with the white man’s teachings. Waiyaki attempts to bring learning of the white men, not their religions, into the old tradition way and fails miserably. Overall, the people of the two tribes, Makuyu and Kameno, are not compatible with each other because of the spread of Christianity in the ridges.
Considering the relationship that each character has with each other, the spread of Christianity really impact the relationship between the African males and females. Like for example, Joshua, with his wife, Miriamu, and two daughters Muthoni and Nyumbura, has a relationship with others that strongly possesses the ways of Christianity laws. In the Bible NIV, in Genesis 17 line10, it announces that “every male among you shall be circumcised,” and Joshua may believe that, although the Joshua specify that Joshua is against male circumcision. However, it does announce Joshua’s animosity towards women circumcision. Joshua even “devote[s] a prayer asking God to forgive him for marrying a woman who had been circumcised,” (31) which affects the relationship between him and his wife. His wife does not have a voice in the story; nonetheless, she does express her thoughts and feelings as obedient to her husband.
Since European-Christianity affects the relationship between African men and women, it also erodes African traditional culture by poisoning them with their ways religion. In African traditions, all “the country of sleeping lions, collect and g[i]ve to Murungu under the sacred tree … rejoicing everywhere… for initiation ceremonies,” which is the ceremony of circumcision (30). The African has tradition split in to half; half of the land continue the old rites, such as the land of Makuyu, and the other half, the land of Kameno, now follow the laws of Christianity and give prayers to God. One of the major poisons that the white men have given the African tribes is to not allow the women become circumcised, which is the major contribute of the old rites; for a boy and a girl to become a man and a woman. Also, the myth of Ham fits into colonialism by the white men assuming that darker shade men are and will always be beneath them. That is why they are taking over the ridges and the rest of Africa because some believe of the curse of Ham, which is Africans and their descendants are destined to be servants.
By the reason stopping cutting circumcision of women, the tribe of Makuyu provokes the...

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