A Grain of Wheat

A Grain of Wheat Metaphors and Similes

"People stood on the roofs of shops. They appeared like clusters of locusts perched on trees" (14) (Simile)

Here, Ngugi uses nature metaphor to invoke the image of a mass of humanity gathered high above the ground.

Artistic Performance (Metaphor)

Warui uses the metaphor of song and dance to illustrate how Thabai will participate in and shape Uhuru: "We of Thabai Village must also dance our part...Yes, we must dance the song the way we know how. For, let it never be said Thabai dragged to shame the names of sons she lost in war" (19).

Light in Darkness (Metaphor)

Thompson uses the metaphor of a light in darkness to describe the British Empire and his recognition of its greatness: "In a flash I was convinced that the growth of the British Empire was the development of a great moral idea: it means, it must surely lead to the creation of one British nation, embracing peoples of all colours and creeds, based on the just proposition that all men were created equal...For me, a great night had shone in the darkness" (53).

Drowning (Metaphor)

Mugo uses the metaphor of drowning to describe Mumbi's impact upon him: "She was still young, vulnerable; but it was he who was scurrying with hands and feet at the bottom of the silen pool. It was terrible for him: he did not want to drown" (133).

"...to Karanja, John Thompson had always assumed the symbol of whiteman's power, unmoveable like a rock..." (151) (Simile)

Here, white power, unflinching and seemingly indomitable, is compared to the immovable force of a rock.