Internal-Time Consciousness in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Novels

Keywords: internal-time, Currie, consciousness, cause, effect, Ngugi wa Thiong'g


Studies on Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s novels, specifically Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross, and Wizard of the Crow, have been commonly read as a reflection of Ngugi’s historical and political stances. The assessments of narrative time in these works have commonly been categorised as the different folds of time in the author’s experiences. Some critics also analyse these novels as political weapons used in fighting capitalism. These modes of reading these texts have become stereotyped and generated a blurry distinction between reality and fiction and/or between author and narrator. This study deviates from the previous forms of reading that make reference to the author by proffering a different study of time in fiction. It adopts a new approach to study these texts as self-sufficient literary tools. This is achieved through Currie’s analysis of internal-time consciousness enshrined in poststructuralism. Internal-time consciousness in these novels is established through narrators’ and characters’ consciousness of the beginning and end and their zeal to extend the duration of the present by arresting the moment. The study of internal-time consciousness in these texts further explores their literariness by recognising the interconnectivity between characters, events, and actions.