Decolonizing The Mind – Summary and Response

An educative evaluation on the role of Language in the presentation of literature. From the book “Decolonizing the mind”-by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o.

WRT102.06: Reading, Writing, & Literacy

Ngugi’s “Decolonizing The Mind” is an essay on language and how it communicates the culture of it’s users. Ngugi begins his essay by telling the reader about his life growing up in Kenya. He states they all spoke “Gikuyu”, and all told many stories about animals or humans. The over-arching theme of these stories were about the “apparent” weak outwitting the  strong, or how a disaster forces co-operation (998). He continues to describe what makes a good story-teller. A good story teller, according to Ngugi, is one that is able to use language to make the same story seem interesting, and make stories told by others more exciting (998). Ngugi then goes on to describe the intruding colonization that occurred. Rapidly, everything he knew about his life was suppressed, and replacing it was the English language. English became to dominate language to learn, and anyone caught speaking Gikuyu was lashed. The only way to…

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