The vision of social justice in the novels of Wahome Mutahi
This paper is based on a critical study of Wahome Mutahi’s three novels, namely: Three Days on the Cross (1991), The Jail Bugs (1992) and Doomsday (1999). It is augmented by other materials, especially Wahome Mutahi’s `Whispers’ column in the Sunday Nation, and other relevant critical works. Data was analyzed through interpretation of textual content and stylistic analysis and findings presented through a discussion of each text. The authors in this paper identify two salient features in Mutahi’s selected art: the worlds evoked in these works are characterized by political oppression and the major characters in the works are alienated. The works however show the writer’s attempt to transcend this alienation and seem to gesture towards a more egalitarian order. Mutahi does not stop at lining up the rot in the society but goes a step further to suggest, albeit subtly, the way out of the political stasis. This he does by investing compassion and a strong will in some characters, which shields them from mental breakdown. He also presents characters that articulate his revolutionary sentiments. Arising from the study, Mutahi’s fiction seems to have, in a small way contributed to the fostering of a more egalitarian politics in Kenya so far as it envisages bloom at the end of the pervasive gloom in the society. The study is a useful addition to the corpus of emergent research into the significance of this previously neglected writer, dramatist and journalist.
Keywords: Vision of Social Justice, Kenya’s Politics, Novels, Wahome Mutahi