A Meeting Of Two Cultures Essay

812 Words Mar 29th, 2016 4 Pages
A Meeting of Two Cultures In Ngugi wa Thiong 'o 's short piece “A Meeting in the Dark,” Thiong 'o reflects upon the generational fractures that colonialism has caused in Africa. He explores the rift between familial relations, with tragic sympathy. The primary source of conflict comes from John, the protagonist, putting perceived responses and ideas into the mouths of others. This does not reveal how those characters would actually react, but rather, how John thinks they would react. By exploring the world through John 's eyes, Thiong 'o illustrates the ever widening gap between the native and Western culture in Africa, as well as some of the more devastating effects of colonialism in the African home.
From the beginning of the story it is evident that John 's parents, Stanley and Susanna, provided a very different home than most people around them. Stanley, a stern preacher who was converted to Christianity during the time of colonization, has kept John from anything of the “old ways.” Even the bedtime stories Susanna told John as a child were perceived as dangerous, so Stanley suggested she instead “tell him of Jesus […] Jesus died for the child. He must know the Lord” (Thiong 'o 97). Thiong 'o effectively conveys the tension between father and son with these small signals that show us how overbearing Stanley has been. Even Susanna agrees that he has been far stricter than was necessary “She was never blind to the moral torture he inflicted on the boy […] the boy had…

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