Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Writing Styles in The Martyr

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Martyr.
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Narration and Tone

This story is narrated in the third person, meaning that the narrator is not a character in the story. However, this does not mean that the narrator's tone is completely objective. In fact, this particular narrator adopts a tone of almost exaggerated sarcasm in conveying the racist attitudes of the white European settlers. For instance, in describing Mrs. Hill's sense of herself as generous and kind toward the Africans who work for her, the narrator uses sarcasm to emphasize the self-congratulatory attitude of the "liberal" settlers, who felt themselves to be doing a favor for the Africans:

Not only had she built some brick quarters (brick,

mind you) but had also put up a school for the
children. It did not matter if the school had not enough
teachers or if the children learnt only half a day and
worked in the plantations for the other...


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This section contains 688 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Martyr Study Guide
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The Martyr from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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