Dreams of War


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Both of the earlier two novels are set against the backdrop of the Mau Mau rebellion, an uprising against the British colonial government by Kenyans - mostly Kikuyus - in the s. Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir, tells the story of Thiong'o's early life, through the mids when he was admitted to high school. As with several of Thiong'o's novels, this story also takes place against the backdrop of Mau Mau.

It's a fascinating account, and it balances the personal with the political. On the personal side, Thiong'o tells of growing up in a polygamous household and of his mother's efforts to get him to school. His mother and father split when he was a child, and he becomes the scribe to his maternal grandfather.

He gives an account -- the first I've read -- of going through the circumcision ceremony, the rite of passage that makes him a man.

At the same time, he describes the political excitement and tension of the time. In the course of Mau Mau, his uncle goes to the mountains to fight, and Thiong'o himself is detained by colonial police on the way home from a religious meeting.


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The political and the personal intersect repeatedly. With little access to newspapers - and those filtered by colonial authorities - he and his friends rely on semi-informed and highly creative informants: "Ngandi, like some of his audience, has to read between the lines of the settler-owned newspapers and government radio. But he enriches what he gleans here and there with rich creative interpretation.

I listened to the unabridged audiobook, narrated by Hakeen Kae-Kazim. I highly recommend the book, the audiobook, and Thiong'o's other work, especially Wizard of the Crow. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase.

Interpretation of a dream in which you saw «War»

It is a really touching story of a young boy's thirst for knowledge and clearly provides the perspective of a native of Kenya. Ngugi describes what life was like for him growing up in Kenya in a polygamous family. His father had four wives and many children. Ngugi's mother was the third wife and Ngugi lived in her hut with his full siblings. The wives formed close relationships with each other as did the children.

Early in life, Ngugi made a solemn promise to his mother to attend school and to his best possible if she would make the sacrifices necessary for him to go to school. This book really presents what life was like for Ngugi through the innocence of a child's eyes. We learn about who his friends were and what he did for fun. We also discover his heartbreak and travails when his father divorced his mother and she returned to live with her father. We begin to see the unfairness of the colonial rule when Ngugi's brother returns to Kenya after fighting in Burma in World War II and these former soldiers are not given equal treatment or justly credited or rewarded for their assistance.

Dreams in a Time of War describes the beginnings of what is commonly termed the Mau Mau Rebellion through a child's eyes and the confusion of having members of his family on different sides during the rebellion. This was an enlightening read for me and I appreciated being able to see this through the innocence of a child.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Ngugi grows up rural Kenya in the years He lives in a family where his mom, one of the five wives of his dad, is at some point rejected by his dad. Ngugi loves reading and learning; despite all the difficulties of the situation--poverty, war, colonialism, and racism--he manages to go to school. The war was a symbol of his tendency to impose his will, which is one definition of war, when one nation imposes its will on another. So this time the symbolic meaning of "war" pivots around the word "impose" and we can see the true meaning of the dream in this feeling which uses that word Example dream : A war in a dream linked to the dreamer being very confrontational and cutting himself off from some friends.

For him this had been like a military campaign. Example dream : A war symbolised a really hectic day where everything seemed to go wrong. The war represented the extreme hardships and problems associated with warfare. Example dream : A war in a dream was triggered by tension at work over a project. The situation was very volatile and could easily get out of hand.

So the "war" was symbolic of a "volatile situation". We could even translate the "war" in the dream into the phrase "on the verge of open conflict" and from this we understand the dreams meaning as the dreamer was feeling "I sense so much tension with this work project.

Dream about war in general

No one really gets on with each other and I feel that at any moment conflict will break out. He felt like he was battling against a world which rejected him. Example dream : A dream of heavy warfare linked to the dreamer being let down by friends who had outed her as a lesbian. In a small town this was a terrible situation - gay people were given a really hard time by virtually everyone. It was going to become an almost war like atmosphere as people would gang up on the gay. War often links to situations where people will voice their feelings even if it causes conflict.

Here it is symbolic of the open hostility which will soon break out once the homophobics get going. Example dream : A dream of second world war bombers dropping raisins instead of bombs linked to a real life event in world war two when bombers dropped raisins instead of bombs because there was nothing left to bomb.

Dreams of war and conflict

This dream linked to the dreamer being in total chaos. She had broken up with her boyfriend on the day of her exams. She simply could not take any more. So bombers were an excellent symbol for her "I cannot take any more type of feeling".

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Example dream : Being at war in a dream with demons linked to the dreamer being racially abused. He was living in an area with few racial minorities and was just accepted by anyone. Example dream : A general on the battlefield dream linked to the dreamer feeling let down by people who were supporting his case. Now having to fight alone he realised that this would be a bitter struggle.

People use the phrase "If you are not my friend then you are my enemy". War is a situation where people have to choose sides. Example dream : A battle dream linked to the dreamer feeling angry at having to end her relationship with her boyfriend because her parents were moving state.

The war symbolised her feeling so angry at what had happened. Example dream : A dream with Russian soldiers charging towards her linked to the dreamers friend getting back together with her ex. This made the dreamer angry and they got into a heated argument as she tried to get her friend to see how bad he was for her.

Wars hinge around an enemy who is out to get you. Maybe this links to the real life situation where the dreamer wanted her friend to see that her ex was not a friend but an enemy. He did not have her best interests at heart.

Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War
Dreams of War

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