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

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What is a theme of the novel The River Between?

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Thiong'o develops multiple themes in the novel The River Between; arguably the most prevalent theme is the difficulty of balancing personal convictions with those of the community.

This theme is conveyed through the conflicts between the tribes and the beliefs each tribe and character hold dear. Through the characters' thoughts and actions, the reader sees the difficulty they each face in balancing their individual beliefs and convictions with those of the tribe or community.

For example, Joshua is a staunch Christian who believes in Christianity and spreading the faith. He is met with somewhat favorable responses from some of the tribe, such as the Chege, but is opposed by others. As readers, we see multiple examples throughout the novel in which characters and tribes try to hold on to the traditional beliefs of their tribe while others embrace new more personal beliefs.

This conflict culminates when Muthoni chooses to disobey the wishes of her father and go through with the traditional...

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