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A Meeting in the Dark

            â€œA Meeting in the Dark” by James T. Ngugi is a story about a young man’s struggles to break free from the oppression caused by his father. John, the main character, is faced with conflicts mainly stemming from his Christian background. His father, Stanley, serves as the village preacher whom he fears because of his authoritarian nature; John obliges to every order of his father out of fear, not sincerity. Their dysfunctional relationship coupled with the forbidden relationship between John and Waharu cause conflicts which become irreparable. .
             First and foremost, this story presents a conflict between religion and rationality. Stanley’s overprotective fostering of his son leads his wife to wonder if his intentions on their son are either helpful or damaging. Stanley and his wife, Susana, had been living life normally, until he had converted. Suddenly, everything changed; happiness had been replaced with unexpected oppression. Serving God became the primary priority, and atoning for the “mistake” they had committed with the birth of John was the other. Therefore, John has to carry the burden of having to live life with many restrictions, and therefore leaves him with problems he incapable of dealing with. .
             Another predicament John faces is his father’s stance on women. Stanley’s conversion to Christianity has entirely changed his view on women. He considers them as “trouble” and merely standing next to a woman would be equal to committing a crime. John, on the other hand, had met a beautiful woman named Wamuhu who seems intent on marrying him after being impregnated by John himself. Although John sees a future with Waharu, he is all too aware of what his father will do if he ever found out. His college education, for one, would be in serious jeopardy if he chooses to proceed with marrying her. Not only has he ignored his father’s warnings, he has gotten himself into a situation that only can only lead to disaster.

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