A Grain of Wheat demonstrates, to a greater extent, the division and isolation of Kenyan individuals in Kenya at the time described in the novel, Ngﬁgi was Thiong’o skilfully exhibits the physical, forced isolation political division and emotional separation of Kenyan individuals during the period leading up to Uhuru. The British are the cause of many Kenyans being physically isolated and separated from their families and homes, “When Mugo was arrested he was taken to Tigoni Police Station and then to Thika detention camp”.
British colonialists detain many Kenyans who are believed to be part of the Movement and place them in detention camps “where captured forest fighters were taken”. The British continue to do so in order to isolate anyone suspected of being rebellious or problematic to them, thereby weakening the movement this tore many individuals from their families.
Even those Kenyans who are willing to put pride and political differences aside and are prepared to work for the British are forced, in most cases, to be separated from their families and comrades.
An example of this is Karanja working in Githima Forestry and Agricultural Research Station A Grain of Wheat clearly displays the division caused by conflicting political and religious beliefs and ideas Karanja views the British colonialists as superior (this opposes the views of the locals and supporters of the Movement) and believes that they will remain in power so he continues to work for them — despite disliking many aspects of his job — as he does not wish to “lose the good name he had built up for himse.
lf among the white people” (p40), because “He lived on that name and the power it brought him.”
He recognizes the power that the British hold, hence he reveres the status he believes he has among Africans – as a worker for the British, Numerous British immigrants to Kenya arrived with the purpose or under the pretense of being missionaries, they “came to the country, clutching the book of God in both hands” (pill) Despite the warmth and friendliness upon their arrival, these foreigners to Africa made sure to settle some distance away from Africans. This subtle act means that cohabitation of Kenya is less likely and segregation is more likely. Many Kenyan people separated or isolated themselves from others in their community due to negative emotions that they were experiencing (most notably guilt). This is evident fromA Grain of Wheat, in the stories of Gikonya’s marriage and Mugo’s life Mumbi feels guilty for sleeping with Karanja, and her son serves a constant reminder. Gikonya chooses to withdraw from family life and lashes out from time to time at his wife and her son Mumbi also feels guilty for committing adultery while Gikonya was in a detention camp.
This causes a lack of communication due to Gikonya‘s “unforgiving anger at Mumbi“ and Mumbi‘s guilt, which is problematic in their relationship and is symbolic of division in their family. For Gikonya, “everything had conspired to accentuate his shame at being the first to confess the oath in Yala camp”, whereas Mugo is praised for protecting a woman who was being whipped by a member of the home guard. Mugo is, however, frowned upon because he isolates himself from the rest of the community. The community is unaware of his reason for this: he feels guilty for handing Kihika over to the British settlers. For this reason, Mugo lives on his shamba (a small plot of land) on the outskirts of the small, Kenyan town of Thabai he is secluded, to a degree, from the rest of the community. In conclusion, the division and isolation of Kenyan individuals in Kenya is successfully demonstrated to a greater extent in various aspects Ngﬁgi was Thiong‘o‘s novel A Grain of Wheat.