The River Between Questions and Answers
by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

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In The River Between, how does Waiyaki feel about and react to the coming of the white man and the white man's religion (i.e., Christianity)? 

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Early on in the novel, Waiyaki breaks up a fight between two other boys: Kamau and Kinuthia. They are fighting over the reputation of Kamau's father, Kabonyi (a recent convert to Christianity), whom Kinuthia has insulted. Both boys later join Waiyaki at the missionary school in Siriana, but by this time it has already been well established in Waiyaki's mind that Christianity and the culture of the white man are dangerous, divisive elements which lead to violence within the tribe.

Kabonyi will later apostatize and defend the ancient rituals of the tribe against the white interlopers, while Waiyaki becomes more sympathetic to Christianity and develops a desire to learn from the white man. He even falls in love with Christian Nyambura. However, they both feel (as well as being told by Nyambura's father) that their association is a threat to both their communities. At every turn, Waiyaki's feelings about the missionaries and their religion is ambivalent. He admires their commitment and...

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