A New Historicist Study of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Anti-(neo)colonial Novel, Petals of Blood
Keywords:African Literature, Context, Neo-Colonialism, New Historicism, Thick Description
This study aims at investigating how Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s novel, Petals of Blood gives a close analysis of the pre-and-postcolonial history of the colonised through the recurrent use of anecdotes which have been eroded and destroyed during the British colonisation period of African lands, especially Kenya. Using new historicism theory as espoused in Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt’s (2001) Practicing New Historicism, as a theoretical framework, this research will unearth how Ngũgĩ’s anticolonial-postcolonial narrative, Petals of Blood depicts the Kenyan cultural norms and society and the damage caused to them due to colonisation. As New historicism deals with reading a text through its historical context to understand why a particular text has been written and under which circumstances it has been produced, the study has therefore traced new historicist concepts and their strategic employment by Ngugi (1977) in the novel to better explicate and contextualize his narrative, an effective illustration of writing back to the empire.
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