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The Martyr Summary
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Everything you need to understand or teach The Martyr by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

  • The Martyr Summary & Study Guide

The Martyr Summary


The short story "The Martyr" by Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o, East Africa's leading writer, was first published in 1974, in his collection Secret Lives and Other Stories. "The Martyr" takes place in colonial Kenya, during a time of rebellion amongst the native Kikuyu people against the white European settlers and plantation owners. News of the murder of two white settlers by their own African "houseboy" initiates the events of the story. Mrs. Hill, a white plantation owner, is visited by her friends Mrs. Hardy and Mrs. Smiles to discuss the murder. Njoroge, an African man who works as the "houseboy" of Mrs. Hill, has plans to kill Mrs. Hill that night, with the help of the Ihii (Freedom Boys). While Mrs. Hill prides herself on her generosity to the Africans who work for her and the loyalty of her "houseboy," Njoroge in fact deeply resents her for her "smug...

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The Martyr Study Guide

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