Symbolism In A Grain Of Wheat

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INTRODUCTION A symbol is a rock dropped into a pool: it sends out ripples in all directions, and the ripples are in mot ------ John Ciardi, in Kennedy and Gioia (2007:238). Ciardi’s standpoint above not only encapsulates what a literary symbol denotes but also its multiple functions in literature. The metaphor ‘rock’ delineates the conspicuous disposition of symbol, as well as its inherent literary power. The ‘ripples’ or avalanche of significations are the direct result of its presence within the text and its incessant ‘motion’ justifies its profound impactin literary text. In literature, symbols are employed by writers not only to embellish their work, but link the reader to the message(s)they want him/her to decipher in the text. In the…show more content…
Thesymbols inA Grain of Wheatare countless: they areso many that virtually everything in the novel symbolises one thing or another. However, much premium is laid onthe most indispensable symbols in the text. This is why the paper classifiesthe symbols of the novelinto six groups. These include symbolic title, symbolic characters; object symbols, nature symbols, cultural/mythical symbols, colonial superstructural symbols and miscellaneoussymbols. Symbolic Title Driven from the Bible___ 1 Corinthians 15:36,the novel’s title, A Grain of Wheat is symbolic. It symbolises the inevitability of death for the birth of a new Kenya. The ‘grain’in question must first die for another life to be born:the new Kenya in this sense. This biblical teaching of self-sacrifice so as to save others, as Kihika the novel’s chief protagonist has doneis aping Christ’s self-sacrifice act in favour of the human folk.Kihika is thus the ‘grain of wheat’ whose martyrdompaves the way for the birth of a new Kenya. However, there is more to that: it also denotes that all those who lose their lives for others to live during the anti-colonial struggle are martyrs or ‘grain of wheats’. This also links us to the Christian themeof self-sacrifice or salvation in the
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