THEMES OF VIOLENCE AND JUSTICE IN BETRAYAL IN THE CITY

Violence                                          

There are violent protests and violence in trying to suppress protest. Chagaga applied extreme violence in trying to silence the university protest that had been organized by the university. In his brutality, he managed to kill Adika.

Jusper, if it was in self-defense, or trying to defend the grave of his brother, violently and murderously killed Chagaga. According to Jusper it was a feat worth celebrating.

On the hand, the people of Kafira show no mercy on Jusper. They stone him and leave him for the dead.

Furthermore, Jere shoots at Mosese when the two disagree over the hair shaving ceremony. This is an indication of the other side of Jere and the society at large. Also, Jere punishes a prisoner punitively when they play Jesus and Pilate part of the Bible.

Moreover, Mulili warns Kabito that he is playing with fire. When the meeting resumes Kabito is no more, he died of road accident after drunken driving.

The height of violence is shown when Jusper, in a fit of revenge kills Mulili in the presence of Boss and palace guards.

Justice

In one of his psychotic rants Jusper plays around with the words ‘Jusper,’ ‘Justice,’ and ‘Jupiter.’ In his crazy mind he compares justice to Jupiter which he says is non-existent. Travelling from Nairobi to Nakuru, there is a place called Flyover, past Limuru, I guess. On the fly over, there is a question that when I saw for the first time hit me very hard. The question, forgive my rusty memory, compares wealth to power and justice. According to the answer given, power and money is more powerful than justice. This brings me back to Jusper’s analogy. In his stupid ways, Jusper figures out that just like Jupiter, which is there but you can only hear of it, justice is absent.

In Kafira, Justice is non-existent. Jusper, I guess after watching his brother’s killer freely roaming the roads, felt the pain of realization that, in Kafira, justice was a designer coat worn by the privileged. He could only use this analogy to understand his world.

On the other hand, Mosese rots in prison. The reason for his detention, if we can take Boss’ word, he had talked against the government in Adika’s burial (pg67). However Boss is not as clear as Mosese is (pg25), although we cannot take Mosese’s word as the truth unless it is substantiated by somebody else. According to those who detained him, Mosese had been found by an illegal drug.

Besides Mosese, there is Jere. His crime was going against the decree that, the hair-shaving ceremony should not go on as had been planned. It seems the duty of the defence officials is to harass common people in the interest of peace. Jere perhaps was charged for neglecting duty.

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