Language and Style in Betrayal in the city - Symbolism
After Adika’s burial following his killing Nina says that his death has made them blind and left them in blindness.
This words ‘blind’ and blindness symbolize the state of hopelessness or disillusionment of Doga and Nina.
Reference is made to the word ‘potato’. Nicodemo asks Kabito “did you get the potato?” Potato refers to the university tender.
Kabito insists on knowing their terms of service and Nicodemo proceeds to ask the size of potato per hour they are entitled to (pg 53) This is in reference to allowanced due to them. ‘Potato” symbolizes corruption that is rampant in Kafira.
Boss orders an Askari to untie the hands of Mosese and Jere (pg 70) The act of untying the two symbolizes their freedom and by extension salvation or the citizens of Kafira.
Askari is a symbol of oppression. Political prisoners like Jere and Mosese are mistreated while in prison.
The brutality of the regime is evident when askari says of Mosese ‘……when they brought him in last night , he was all questions.
We calculated that two mature strokes would ease the tension (pg 19) He informs Jere that he has once killed a man in that very cell. (pg 30)s
The gun is a symbol of power. The moment the askaris surrender their guns to Jere, Mosese and Jusper, power shifts from Boss to the three. Mulili, Boss and Tumbo are at the mercy of the three.
The reappearance od Doga and Nina at the end of theplay after the killing of Mulili is a symbol of change in Kafira, their reappearance at the graveside which now is for Mulili shows that the social order of injustice and misrule exemplified by poor advisors like Mulili has been done away with and now they expect a new Kafira with better leadership and justice.
Betrayal in the City by Francis Imbuga
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