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Surname 1 Name: Date: Course: Tutor: Education, Culture versus Religion in the “The River Between” Given the discretion to discuss any author in our anthology, I chose to discuss celebrated Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o who has been a literature professor in the United States for the last 40 years. In his books, there has been the constant repetition of this theme namely; the competition of education and culture with religion in the colonial African setting. This has been extremely helpful in considering the African situation as it happened when there was colonialism. It has continued to become an area of interest for which I will write this paper. The paper will look at how the two themes compare and contrast in the book “The River Between” and other works of his such as “Devil on the Cross” and “I Will Marry When I Want”. Most of Ngugi’s works were written in the advent of colonialism in the home country, a time which the author grew up in. he witnessed the struggle for independence and was a young man in the advent of colonialism. The issues so largely affected him that he chose to drop his English name and remain with his native language’s names. The whole of the colonialism therefore reflects largely on the ideas that his works are based, concentrating in large the dilemmas that a young man had to face in such times. The River Between is a love story involving a young man whose allegiance was to the cultural ways of the tribe and a young girl, the daughter of a preacher at the height of hostilities between the two factions – the converted African Christian and those who held fast to the African
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Surname 2 traditional ways. The novel was published in 1965 and the river was a literal separation in the novel where the two groups were divided across two ridges. Education A prevalent theme in The River Between is that of education. This can be described as the process by which an individual receives or gives instruction, especially at a school or university (Oxford Dictionaries). It can also be described as an enlightening experience. According to the novel, education becomes a huge unifying factor for the tribe at the time. The river that was there called Honia was the separator of the two ridges Makuyu and Kameno, but at the same time became the linking thread between the two. Honia meant bringing one back to life. The first page of the novel records that the river that separated the two ridges was still the uniting factor. It brought together men, women, children and the cattle of people from both ridges to get water from it. “The river was called Honia, which meant cure, or bring-back-to-life. Honia River never dried; it seemed to possess a strong will to live, scorning droughts and weather changes...
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