One of the primary themes of the novel is the dangers of the detribalization of the people of Gikuyu. Jomo Kenyatta presents an image of a culture bound together through unity and loyalty, and through a sense of public and social responsibility that is taught to children from birth through the entire culture. The native Gikuyu educational system, taught by parents, teaches social and family responsibility. The political structure of the Gikuyu is based on these same ideas of social and tribal responsibility, as are the marriage ceremonies, age grading customs, and all other customs and social norms of the culture. From birth, children of the Gikuyu are taught that it is only through unity and community that the people can survive. Their customs, sometimes looked down on by Western societies, are accepted because they too ingrain this concept of unity.