Grain Of Wheat Essay, Research Paper
“God helps those who help themselves, it is said, with fingers pointing at a self-made man who has attained wealth and position, forgetting that thousands of others labor and starve, day in and day out, without ever improving their material lot (57).”
In the novel a Grain of Wheat written by Nugugi we explore in-depth the hardships and courage of African men and women who were forced to fight for their independence in the War of Independence. This book reveals to us the life of a man named Gikonyo. As a reader we learn that Gikonyo was through into a detention camp a poor and confused man. When released, Gikonyo is a new man with motivational and leadership abilities. Finding his true self in the camp and proving to be a true leader among his people. Although he is a new man after the camps, Gikonyo finds himself falling further apart from his beloved wife then he had ever been before.
The War of Independence, which occurred in 1952 through 1960, was referred to in the Grain of Wheat as the “Emergency”. The Emergency became apart of many peoples lives when family members were put into detention centers because of their beliefs. Gikonyo believed independence was the only way to go, and because he had become such a good man in the camps he was elected the chairman of the local branch of the movement. This was because people believed that he had such high spirit that no matter what detention camp he was sent to his spirit could never be broken. Gikonyo fought for independence in the emergency, but he did not let the white man break him, keeping his eyes on the mountains and trees and thinking of his wife.
Gikonyo looked at the flags that lined the Uhuru highway and was filled with the felling that the city really belonged to him. This was just one example of how important their freedom was to him. Uhuru was something that he could always remember and nobody could ever ruin the memory of that. He hoped to celebrate Uhuru day and have a large celebration for the men who died for their cause. Gikonyo was a good man and never wanted to forget what people had done for him. He hoped to one-day see the city filled with black businessmen. He did not believe the countries independence when everyone in the city was white and Indian and the whites and Indians own all the stores. He tells us how the only blacks that came in to the city, did so to sweep streets and to drive the buses. Freedom meant a lot to him, but I believe he wanted more black men to be like him.
Once Gikonyo was released from the camps he was a changed man. He found himself back home with only his carpentry tools to help him. He worked hard and finished jobs on time thus amazing the people who had known him before he entered the camps. He rose to become a very wealthy man, discipline was a major factor in his life now and he insisted that all his payment be played on time. Mothers would tell stories of him to their children because he was such a remarkable man. I believe that because Gikonyo came home to see his wife had had committed adultery he would force himself to be a better man then he had been tin the past. He was now more interested in money and fortune then ever before. A hard worker? Yes, but also a man on a mission for success.
Gikonyo went through a lot of changes in the fight for freedom. In it he found that life before freedom was a lot different then life as a free man. He took his motivation and determination and fought to become a wealthy man. He was a very determined man after the camps, but also a man who faced a lot of guilt and sorrow. He found that at the end he would forgive his beautiful wife and find that he needed her more than anything. And instead of focusing his sights on those hills that home was behind, instead changed them to his wife and baby.