Matagari Essay

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“There are two worlds. There is the world of those who accept things as they are, and there is that of those who want to change things. Which world do you belong to?” (p.76)

Throughout Ngugi wa Thiong’o”s novel, Matigari, the main character proves himself to be a strong, intelligent, peaceful man who appears to have his head on straight and sees the state of the world in the precisely right shade. From page one he allows the reader to gain his trust and from then on you find yourself cringing at the “upside-down” world Matigari is trying to navigate his way through. The main purpose of this paper is to show that decolonization does not only mean the transfer of power to an independent homeland, as it will not be successful. But rather, it must also encompass the freedom of the nation’s spirit and the personal culture of all its citizens. Matigari ma Njiruungi is a radicalist. The two-day journey that takes place during the course of the novel is an adventure that Matigari embarks upon to try to regain what is rightfully his. This can be a metaphor of sorts in saying that Matigari is really trying to turn the corrupted world of imperialism back on it’s feet, back into something that makes sense. By definition, imperialism is the “policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas.” Matigari had spent his life, or at least all that he can remember about it, under somebody else’s rule. First being Settler Williams and then the entire opposing government. His story is not unlike that of Kenyan citizens during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The colonial period of Kenya was exhibited by social pressures and intense oppression. The English rulers restricted the voice of the Kenyans and took away their rights of political participation and alike. These imperialistic policies of England triggered a mounting...
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