NARRATIVE TIME IN NGUGI WA THIONG’O’S PETALS OF BLOOD, DEVIL ON THE CROSS AND WIZARD OF THE CROW

192

ABSTRACT

Ngugi wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross and Wizard of the Crow are novels that have attracted a great deal of critical attention, and they have been read mainly under the Marxist, postcolonial, and linguistic approaches. These approaches have related these novels as a reflection of the author’s time, thereby limiting a critical view of narrative time in the texts. Distancing itself from this mode of reading, this study examines the three novels through the poststructuralist approach that deals with the text itself. The approach in this thesis is by way of Currie’s conception of narrative time and it looks upon these novels as self-sustaining entities. In Currie’s conception of time, the contemporary novel is characterized with the presence of prolepsis and analepsis. Currie’s narrative time extends to internal-time consciousness where a character’s consciousness of time is reconstructed from his actions. These elements of time presented by Currie are functional in Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross and Wizard of the Crow, suggesting the validity of a view of these novels as being about time. This thesis undertakes the analysis of narratological, structural, and rhetorical prolepsis in these novels to interpret the roaming in time and the dominance of the future time in the present time. The present of the characters is affected by their sense of coming change. In anticipating transformation, they recall the past, thus, disclosing prolepsis as a catalyst of revival. The recollection of the past in the present brings out the direction and redirection of narration by the first and third person narrators. The examination of backward time in these novels depicts that not all detective novels start with a crime scene, but generally, they all start with an effect and proceed to the cause. This thesis recognizes the whodunit and whatdunit story patterns in Petals of Blood and Wizard of the Crow respectively, and it generates the whydunit to account for the backward motion of narrative explanation in Devil on the Cross. The research suggests that characters’ consciousness of time influences their actions; while their consciousness of time is a cause, their actions are the effects. Under the notion of aboutness of time, time as a fundament in Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross and Wizard of the Crow has been considered and it has enabled a thorough analysis of these novels.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page——————————————————————————————– i

Approval——————————————————————————————— ii

Certification—————————————————————————————– iii

Dedication——————————————————————————————- iv

Acknowledgements——————————————————————————- v

Table of Contents———————————————————————————- vi

Abstract———————————————————————————————- viii

 

CHAPTER ONE:  INTRODUCTION——————————————————– 1

1.1 Background to the Study——————————————————————– 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem——————————————————————- 2

1.3 Research Questions————————————————————————— 3

1.4 Significance of the Study——————————————————————- 3

1.5 Objectives of the Study———————————————————————- 3

1.6 Scope of the Study—————————————————————————- 4

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW—————————————— —– 5

2.1 Marxist and Postcolonial Approaches ——————————– ———-         5

2.2 Linguistic Approach ————————————————————————- 32

2.3 Summary ———————————————————————————- 34

 

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY/

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK———————————- 36

3.1 Research Methodology ——————————————————————— 36

3.2 Conceptual Framework ——————————————————————— 36

3.2.1 Philosophical Time ————————————————————–        37

3.2.2 Narrative Time ————————————————————————- 48

3.3 Post structural Narratology ————————————————————- 76

4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: THE VISION IN NGUGI’S SELECTED NOVELS:

FROM THERE TO HERE ————————————— 79

4.1 The Active Past: Prolepsis as a Catalyst for Revival ——————————– 79

4.2 Social Change as a Manifestation of Performative Prolepsis ———————- 101

5.0 CHAPTER FIVE: DIRECTION AND REDIRECTION IN THE SELECTED

NOVELS ———————————————————— 113

5.1 Reversibility of Narrative Explanation ———————————————— 113

5.2 Convergence of Time and Space——————————————————– 151

6.0 CHAPTER SIX: IDENTIFYING INTERNAL-TIME CONSCIOUSNESS — 159

6.1 Consciousness of the Beginning and the End —————————————– 160

6.2 Arrested Moment ——————————————————————–      181

CONCLUSION ——————————————————————————– 184

WORKS CITED ————————————————————————–      190

 

NARRATIVE TIME IN NGUGI WA THIONG’O’S PETALS OF BLOOD, DEVIL ON THE CROSS AND WIZARD OF THE CROW

DOWNLOAD PROJECT