Is the title "I Will Marry When I Want" related to the story?

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"I will marry when I want; Nobody will force me into it!" states Gathoni, the daughter of the central couple within the play of the same name. That alone should give the reader a strong indication of the importance of these lines and what they mean to the story.

This play, which concerns post-imperialism in Africa and the manipulation of the African people by the wealthy, has many interwoven themes connected to the idea of manipulation.

The marriage in question, that of Gathoni to Mahuuni, plays a central role within the story, as Gathoni's parents, Kiguunda and Wangeci, mortgage their land to pay for a Christian wedding for the young woman. However, this wedding does not take place, as Gathoni is revealed to be pregnant with Mahuuni's child prior to the ceremony. Gathoni, in this case, has been coerced by Mahuuni into sleeping with him before their marriage to prove her fertility, just as her parents were coerced into signing away their land.

All of this speaks to the greater manipulation of the African populace, and when viewed this way, Gathoni's statement of "I will marry when I want" becomes deeply ironic. The audience can see that Gathoni, as a woman in this situation, does not truly have the power to choose when or if she will marry, and she has been manipulated and discarded as a "prostitute".

Does Gathoni truly have the ability to choose when she will marry? This is the question that the audience of the story must ask themselves as they attempt to connect the title of the play to the play itself.

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Of course, titles of works of literature are always relevant in some way or another to the plot, theme, characters, and/or setting of a story.

Ngugi's "I Will Marry When I Want" is no different. The story concerns a peasant farmer and his wife who are coerced in mortgaging their land by a white neighbor so they can afford a "proper" Christian wedding. Of course, this nosy neighbor is far less concerned with the wedding of the peasant and his wife as he is being able to leverage the bank and take the land away from them to expand his own business. The play reveals the evils of Imperialism and the devastating effects such thought and action can have on indigenous peoples and the corruption often exerted upon others in the name of religion and progress.

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