|dc.description.abstract||Ngugi is one of the most articulate among renowned African writers. He has unequivocally stated, at various forums and in his critical essays, that literature is didactic. Although the specific impact of a work cannot"be easily determined in 'tangible terms'-, Ngugi, like most Marxists, is a firm believer in the potential of literature as an instrument of change in society. > His works of fiction have attracted much critical attention and have been the subject of interesting, sometimes heated, debates in African literary circles. The tendency, however, has been to isolate one or two aspects of his works and focus all powers of literary observation and analysis thereon. There, as yet, has not been a thorough treatment of didacticism per se. Few, if any, scholars of African literature have seriously taken on the engaging task of measuring the strength of the didacticism in Ngugi's fiction against his openly stated convictions.
This study attempts, if only in a small way,to break some fresh ground on the scholarship on Ngugi by endeavouring to probe an area that has remained largely unexplored. The first chapter provides the background for the keynote chapters - 2,3 and 4. This initial chapter offers a definition of didacticism, taking into account such aspects as the distinguishing features of a didactic work, types of didacticism and the modes, techniques and devices that may be put to didactic use. The chapter also looks at the attitudes to didacticism before examining Ngugi's own views on didacticism and literature. The next chapter presents an analysis of plot, style, narrative and character and establishes the extent to which each
of these literary elements contribute towards the communication of the author's intended message to his intended readership in A Grain of Wheat. Petals of Blood and Devil on the Gross are given similar treatment in chapters three and four respectively. The conclusion re-states the salient features of the keynote chapters and the general impression that emerges from the study.
It is our hope that this study will stimulate further inquiry
into this area not only with respect to Ngugi's works but also those of other African writers. It is our hope, too, that the study will open up debate on the extent to which various literary techniques and devices can further the cau||en_US