The relevance of the title the river and the source by margret ogola and the relevance of the title betrayal in

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The relevance of the title the river and the source by margret ogola and the relevance of the title betrayal in the city by francis imbuga.


















The river and the source is about the survival and continuity of certain ideals of human nature. Akoko is the truly outstanding character in the novel. She is the source referred to in the novel. From the word go it is clear that Akoko is one out of the ordinary.

As a child she is her father’s and brother’s favorite, most unusual in a polygamous setting. Her extraordinary character is spoken of by people in Yimbo ‘everybody remarked that she would be a very determined person someday’ (pg 12). The author on page 133 says ‘in truth, such clarity of vision and strength of a person are a discomfiture to all men of all ages’. Her reputation lives on after her and her great grandchildren wish to emulate her. Her great grandson Father Tony Sigu says of her: “to her life was like a river, flowing from eternity into eternity. I believe it is because of the power of her faith she is still remembered in the blood and in the mind. (pg 298)

She si symbolically referred to as the source of a river. Akoko is the life-line of five generations we meet in the story. Her rloe in the novel is so great that one can rightly say without Akoko there would be no story. Her family survives due to her a sheer determination, wisdom, hardwork and clarity of vision. Had she not worked hard to acquire her wealth, her children would have starved when her children and grandchildren, who instill the same to their children, the value of hardwork and courage. Her cleasive nature and clarity of vision prepare her children for a changing world. Her grandchildren are among the first generation of educated people in Kenya.

From Akoko, the different generation of her children learn and develop sense of family unity and loyalty to one another and this holds the family strongly together. At the end of the story the family is very close.

Akoko’s other quality are prominent even in her great, great grandchildren who only hear of her. Becky’s daughter Alicia who is so keen on emulating her aunt Vera doesn’t know she is emulating Akoko’s ideals. Akoko’s belief in God is inborn in a number of her grandchildren. Among them are Bishop, Peter Owour, a priest, Tony and Vera who chooses not to marry but dedicate her life to serving God through her work.

Akoko is one of those who have been wise before their time, pioneers through whose daring actions to break away from traditional norms have brought progress to whole societies. Maria Nyabera like her mother is a pioneer. She introduces Christianity to her family and paves the way for change and a better to her daughter and grandchildren. Through her mother Akoko she learns not to let suffering weigh her down. She emerges from suffering a stronger and wiser character as is seen when she comforts her daughter Elizabeth and encourages her to live after the death of Akoko. Her sense of loyalty to family is carried on to her children. Thus through her Akoko’s family lives on. She is the only surviving child of Akoko and Owour Kembo.

Elizabeth is the only child of  Nyabera who survives. A traditional ceremony had been carried out at her birth to confuse the evil spirit who might looking for her to kill her. Shr is called Awiti – the one who had been thrown away. When she is baptized she is given the name Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is the bridge in the novel between the era of the great rich traditional life of her people and the complex and reliable life of modern day Kenya. In her seven children the ‘river’ whose source was Akoko and which was almost drying up promising continuity to Akoko’s family. She also instills in her children Akoko’s ideals of dertemination to survive, hardwork, fear of God, love and loyalty to family. Due to her love for her husband and her commitment to her marriage she avoids raising issues about Mark’s one time unfaithfulness and strengthens her relationship with her husband.

Owour Kembo was a Akoko’s husband. He is a great man. Through his modest nature, maturity as a leader and self-confidence Owour Kembo  brought about peace and order amomg the people he ruled. His love, respect and trust for his wife Akoko made her happy and prosperous. He trusted her and respected her hardwork, and this must have encouraged her to work hard and become a prosperous woman. Owour Kembo contributed a lot to his wife’s success. On (pg 43) we are told Owour treated his wife well. Like a father even in his time, he loved his children deatrly. Akoko and Nyabera were to talk about his greatness to his children.

Mark Sigu, like Owour Kembo had love and commitment for .............

Type: Essay || Words: 1888 Rating || Excellent

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