Weep Not, Child

Does the ending of the novel convey a message of hope? Why or why not

Why or why not?

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The final chapter of Weep Not, Child employs a significant tonal departure from the rest of the novel. Throughout the book, Njoroge is portrayed positively because of his ambition and relentless optimism. However, his hopes for himself and his country prove futile. Despite his attempts to succeed and change his country through education, he drops out of high school and becomes an attendant in a dress shop – that is, until he proves ill-equipped for even that. In the novel’s final pages, it seems that Njoroge is destined not for outward greatness, but for an insular life of providing for his widowed mothers. The title of Part II - "Darkness Falls" - has clearly become the case. The protagonist has lost both hope and will to live.

Of course, Njoroge's fate should not be read as a comment on his earlier hopes for education. Ngugi seems too taken with the power of learning to doom it in such a way. Instead, Ngugi seems to blame the broader political circumstances for interfering with Njoroge’s pursuit of success. So grievous are the circumstances in Kenya that even education loses the power to change people.