Physical setting

The story “A Meeting in the Dark” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o takes place in the village of Makeno, in the sub-county of Limuru, Kenya. 

The village, “one of the new mushroom ‘towns’ that grew up all over the country during the Mau Mau war”  is seen as a stifling environment. John blames his “sin” on this environment: “I hate you, I hate you! You trapped me alive. Away from you, it would never have happened.” John is probably associating his environment with his father, which is why he has so many negative feelings towards it. Stanley’s influence is also constraining and harmful, and John constantly struggles against it, but is too afraid to express it, even to himself. 

In fact, John has mixed feelings about his native land. Sometimes he sees it as ugly...

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