Young Adults’ Literature As A Tool Of Change In The Lives Of Young Kenyans: A Case Study Of Never Say Never By Anthony Mugo And The Delegate By Edward Mwangi

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This Study examines how two writers, Anthony Mugo in Never Say Never and Edward Mwangi in The Delegate have presented the challenges of young adults in the contemporary Kenyan society. Through use of characters that the young adults can identify with, the two novels have provided the young adults with role models that can greatly impact on the youth. The idea that literature can be used to boost self understanding is not a new one. Probst, R in Response Analysis: Teaching Literature in Junior and Senior High School (1998) notes that in the process of reading literature, some readers’ concepts of the world are re-affirmed, modified, or even refuted and this can result in changing a reader. This reading of the text can be a process of self-creation where in searching for a response to the text, in responding and in finding errors; the reader gains a greater sense of self. This study compares the protagonists in the novels and also seeks to identify the potential in the books to impact on the youth in Kenya. This is based on the premise that an individual can be changed by what one reads. The study will be limited to a close textual reading of the two novels and library research. The study will rely on carefully selected set of theoretical frameworks and methodology. The study draws from sociological literary theory and formalism as a guide in carrying out a research across the five chapters. The first has the introduction, chapter two and three deals with the male and female protagonist as a role model respectively, chapter four makes a comparative study of the two texts and chapter five is the conclusion. Young adulthood is often a tumultuous time in a person’s life. The study suggests that engagement with honest character portrayals in young adult literature can provide an understanding of their very real situations. The young adults can therefore learn a lot from this kind of literature and can use it as a tool of change in their lives.

Njeru Lucy Kawira
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