A Grain of Wheat Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

A Grain of Wheat

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A Grain of Wheat Chapters 12-13 Summary & Analysis

Chapter Twelve Summary

Gikonyo returns home in a foul mood. Mumbi tells him that Mugo has visited and said he would not participate in the Uhuru ceremony. As Gikonyo and Mumbi speak, her child enters the room and begins to chat with Gikonyo. He roughly pushes the child away and then, at Mumbi’s rebuke, slaps her and calls her a whore. Wangari intervenes, but Gikonyo runs from the house rather than talk to her.

After Gikonyo’s visit with the MP, where he was assured that he would soon be able to buy the farm in the question, Gikonyo and five others gather to plan how to raise half the money for the land up front. Yet when Gikonyo visits the farm, he sees that it is under new ownership – the MP has bought it. Trying to force the unpleasantness with the land situation and with Mumbi out of his mind, Gikonyo visits Warui to discuss Party business. He reveals that Mugo will not speak at the Uhuru ceremony, and asks Warui to accompany him to Mugo’s hut.

After his conversation with Mumbi and General R., Mugo sets out to walk through the village, his mind uneasy. He comes across the portion of the trench that he had been forced to dig and recalls the day when a homeguard began viciously beating the woman who was working next to Mugo. After four strokes of the whip, Mugo intervened and held the whip so a fifth blow could not be delivered. For this, Mugo was forced into a police van and taken away.

Next, Mugo also recalls the day that he found a crowd gathered around the hut of the old woman whose deaf and dumb son, Gitongo, had been killed. It was said that the woman’s son had now come back to visit her twice – and the description of these visits mirrors Mugo’s own visits with the woman.

When Gikonyo and Warui arrive at his hut, Mugo says he is not feeling well in the head. Gikonyo is surprised by the look of terror in Mugo’s eyes, and the visitors retreat. As he…

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