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BLOSSOMS OF THE SAVANNA:
Themes

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MORAL DECADENCE

Despite the rich cultural setting of the novel, there are many cases of immoral conduct or behavior that falls short of the morals of any society. This can be largely attributed to the clash or encounter between the traditional culture and modern culture. Many evils are perpetrated by Oloisudori and other characters with warped morality.

Oloisudori is totally morally decayed. He engages in all sorts of vices in order to amass wealth. He is corrupt, immoral, an extortionist, a smuggler, a poacher, a blackmailer, a thug and even a killer (p.101, 236). He is also suspected by Ole Kaelo to belong to the cult of ilmasonik, a cult that thrived on extortion and blackmail (p.107). These vices, allegedly associated with him, point at his moral deficiency.

When Ole Kaelo asks his friend Supeyo if Oloisudori is a man of integrity, he replies, "Don't trust him any further than you would a hyena in your homestead...keep the fellow away from your daughters" (p.26). When Oloisudori meets Resian for the first time, his amorous character is evident. He openly scans her body (p.92) and cranes his neck to watch her (p.95). In his presence, Resian is uncomfortable for she felt from his looks as if her blouse was unbuttoned (p.96). She also feels as if he was caressing her entire body with his hands against her will (p.96). He tells Ole Kaelo his intention to marry his daughter very callously and as if he was talking about a goat or a sheep (p.110). In his first visit to Ole Kaelo's home, "...he took a long time washing his hands as he gloatingly peered at her" (p.179). He has no shame taking the hand of Resian and kissing it without her consent. He looks at her in a sexually suggestive manner "...his gaze deliberately dropped from her face to her bosom and lingered there" (p.203). This is before he drops the bombshell; which is marrying her and making her the happiest woman in East Africa. He shamelessly tells Kaelo of his intention to circumcise Resian before marrying her. Ole Kaelo regards such talks as very abnormal between a father-in- law and a would be son-in-law. From such immoral talk, Ole Kaelo believes that the world had come to an end (p.112).

Apart from Oloisudori, there are many other morally rotten characters in the novel such as Olarinkoi warriors, Olarinkoi, and enkoiboni. The Olarinkoi warriors, who subdued the Maa for long, are morally rotten. They forced the Maa women to "...compose lewd songs which they had to perform in the most outrageous and indecent postures and styles" (p.86). They took advantage of the compromising situation of the Maa women to exploit them sexually knowing that "...they were not able to resist their natural instinctive desires..." (p.86).

Taiyo and Resian's near rape by two men as they come from their father's shop in Nasila points at moral decay in Nasila. (p.140). This incident causes the girls mental torture. Some of these deeds are done to them because they are uncircumcised. Olarinkoi is also immoral. He abuses Resian by telling her: "Today we shall see how educated your body is" (p.221). This is before physically assaulting and raping her after she passes out.

The foul language that enkoiboni, the mother to Olarinkoi, addresses Resian with is full of moral rottenness. Her language is full of abuses and bitterness. Enkabaani, Resian's nurse does not support enkoiboni's foul language and urges Resian to ignore her. She does not respect Resian's privacy when she feels her stomach with her hands to check whether she was pregnant. All this time, "Resian seethed with anger at the blatant intrusion of her privacy and total disregard for her feelings" (p.235).

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