Weep Not, Child

Themes and motifs

Weep Not, Child integrates Gikuyu mythology and the ideology of nationalism that serves as catalyst for much of the novel's action.[8] The novel explores the negative aspects of colonialism and imperialism. Njoroge's aspiration to attend university is frustrated by both the violence of the Mau Mau rebels and the violent response of the colonial government. This disappointment leads to his alienation from his family and ultimately his suicide attempt.[7]

The novel also ponders the role of saviours and salvation.[8] The author notes in his The River Between: "Salvation shall come from the hills. From the blood that flows in me, I say from the same tree, a son shall rise. And his duty shall be to lead and save the people."[8] Jomo Kenyatta, the first prime minister of Kenya, is immortalised in Weep Not, Child. The author says, "Jomo had been his (Ngotho's) hope. Ngotho had come to think that it was Jomo who would drive away the white man. To him, Jomo stood for custom and traditions purified by grace of learning and much travel."[8] Njoroge comes to view Jomo as a messiah who will win the struggle against the colonial powers.[8]


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