Ngugi wa Thiong'o

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Wedding At The Cross Summary

In Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's, "Wedding at the Cross," why does Miriamu, raised in a life of Westernized privilege, seem to suffer no ill effects in giving that life up, while Wariuki, who has never known such a life, longs for it? Also, compare and contrast the different effects colonial life has on the minds of these two characters. 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that there are some basic reasons why the characterizations of both lovers take different directions.  The first reason is the political one.  Ngugi depicts the impact of colonization and its prejudices as castrating to Wariuki.  The dehumanizing impact of Colonialism is in how it reduces Wariuki to nothing more than being sub- human.  This dehumanization and the castration he experienced is what drives him to embrace a life that could compete with "those people."  Colonialism creates a pathology of self- hate within him, compelling to no longer be Wariuki, but rather become Dodge W.  Livingstone, Jr.  He becomes fascinated with the privilege and wealth that remains in the domain of Colonialism in order to exact vengeance for the dehumainzation and belittling castration that he was forced to experience at its hands.  The fact that...

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