When a person thinks of the word "dark" negative thoughts usually enter their mind. Society has always associated the word "dark" with unpleasant things. In movies, a villain walks down a dark and gloomy street corner. Or on the news you hear about a woman being raped in a dark alleyway. Darkness is secretive and mysterious. In the story entitled "A Meeting in the Dark" by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, the main character, John keeps a secret from his parents. He is struggling between two worlds that don't understand each other. A secret so dark that it drives him to murder.
John's father Stanley was a very sanctimonious character in this story. He was a preacher, and his domineering personality struck fear into the heart of his son. His religious ways made life very dismal for his family. John was conceived before marriage. His father wanted to live vicariously through his son and steer him away from this dark sin that he had committed. Converting was his way of repenting for this mistake. Stanley lives his life very black and white. When Stanley first converts to Christianity he tells his wife to stop telling their son stories about the tribal way of life. This indicates that he doesn't want his son to make a choice about what he wants to do with his life, thinking whatever is right for Stanley must be right for John. This is sheltering John and keeping him in the dark.
John is torn between the old and new ways of his country. The turmoil caused by this conflict results in John reacting in the darkest way possible. He reverts to his most primitive and emotional state of mind, thus forgetting all his education and culture, because of the intense state of disturbance he is in. His African culture is divided into such dark and light stereotypes that John is bewildered by this inner struggle inside himself about what he should do.
John's relationship with his father is strained because his father looks at him like he's a sinner.