Thiong'O and Rushdie- Compare and Contrast

Topics: Writing, Lingua franca, Second language Pages: 2 (540 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Rushdie Vs. Thiong'o

The difference between two writers can be very similar or very different. Often times authors have similarities whether they are from different backgrounds or not. In some sort of way two authors can think the same way due to keeping original languages and upbringings in their writings. On the other hand, they can also differ immensely. Salman Rushdie and Ngugi wa Thiong'o had two different upbringings, education, and attitudes toward literature.

An author's upbringing makes an impact on their writing and viewpoints. Rushdie is an Indian writer whom was born in 1947, during India's independence from British rule. He grew up in a middle class family consisting of a lawyer as a father and a teacher as a mother, both being professional careers. On the contrary, Thiong'o was born in Kenya in 1938. Raised by a tenant farmer and accompanied by 30 siblings, his upbringing differs greatly from Rushdie. The language that each were accustomed to from birth also differs. Rushdie grew up speaking both Urdu and English, whereas Thiong'o spoke Gikuyu, later learning English.

At age thirteen Rushdie was sent to Rugby school in England, then later graduated from Cambridge University. Rushdie's Indian background caused him to be subtle to much racism from his pupils in his younger years, but his fluency in English was beneficial throughout his education. Thiong'o spent his schooling years in Kenya, receiving all of his formal education and a Bachelor’s of Arts. Unlike Rushdie, Thiong'o was not in an environment that required of him to speak purely English, that is until Kenya was taken over by Englishmen in 1952. After that if the African Americans were caught speaking Gikuyu, they were punished by a paddle on the buttocks or made to carry a medal around their neck saying “I am stupid” or “I am a donkey”. Later, Thiong'o did work at the University College in Nairobi. There, he institutionalized a “Department of African Languages and Literatures”....
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