Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in “Minutes of Glory”? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong’o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time?

The short story “Minutes of Glory” is centered on the themes of insecurity, independence, and identity. The story is wittily constructed to depict the vanity in man’s desires and the consequences of a lost identity. The title points to the temporal satisfaction people get from what they consider superior and praiseworthy at the expense of their uniqueness and self-acceptance. Looking at the meaning of glory, its achievement, and Beatrice’s world, the author demonstrates the essence of upholding cultural, social, and personal values.

The word “glory” in Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s short story denotes several elements that define Beatrice’s life and work experiences. First, it represents self-image and appearance that is deemed excellent. According to Wa Thiong’o, Beatrice was neither ugly nor beautiful with a body that “had the form, yes, but it was as if it waited to be filled by the spirit.” The description highlights the condition of Beatrice’s mind and heart concerning her body. She was well-built, with a form that was deemed excellent in her culture. However, Ngugi notes that she could not be called beautiful either, implying that she was missing something, which in this case was the “glory.” Beatrice’s self-image was that of a lesser being whose appearance could only be improved by gaining transformative glory. Beatrice stole money from her client and bought clothes with which she adorned herself. In her mind, she felt that she had achieved her ultimate self-image.

Second, glory represented the ability to attract men and gain their undivided attention and praise. According to Wa Thiong’o, “nobody seemed to notice” Beatrice at her place of work. To make matters worse, when her name was mentioned by an impatient customer, some would raise their heads to check the bearer of the name but later ignore it since they found “no one there.” The lack of recognition gnawed Beatrice until she decided to seek attention through the worst possible way: theft. After buying new clothes, Beatrice became the center of attention, turning men’s necks wherever she passed. Wa Thiong’o comments that “there was a glint in her eyes that made men’s eyes turn to her.” This way, Beatrice got her minutes of glory that was to be cut short soon. Although Nyaguthii was in the same situation as Beatrice, she remained in her condition and never got to attain glory.

Essentially, the glory sought by Beatrice was gained through theft that facilitated her change of clothing and transformed her appearance. Wa Thiong’o mentions that in her new look, Beatrice felt important, and “men’s lascivious eyes were turned to her.” On returning to the bar where she had worked the day before, everyone now seemed to notice her. She was even invited to join tables where she had previously been ignored. In just one day, she had moved from the common bartender who felt depressed and tormented to the point of attraction. Nyaguthii had been usually bored and unconcerned, but after Beatrice’s change, she watched in shock and admiration. This was the sum of everything that she had hoped would give her glory. However, just when she felt above everyone else, the client from whom she stole came in with the police and arrested her. Her moment of power and excitement was cut short after mere minutes of glory.

Sourse: Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o.

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Academic.Tips. (2022) 'Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time'. 8 October.

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Academic.Tips. (2022, October 8). Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time? https://academic.tips/question/read-wa-thiongos-minutes-of-glory-and-watch-talk-africa-a-conversation-with-ngugi-wa-thiongo-what-is-glory-in-minutes-of-glory-who-gets-to-have-it/

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Academic.Tips. 2022. "Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time?" October 8, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/read-wa-thiongos-minutes-of-glory-and-watch-talk-africa-a-conversation-with-ngugi-wa-thiongo-what-is-glory-in-minutes-of-glory-who-gets-to-have-it/.

1. Academic.Tips. "Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time?" October 8, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/read-wa-thiongos-minutes-of-glory-and-watch-talk-africa-a-conversation-with-ngugi-wa-thiongo-what-is-glory-in-minutes-of-glory-who-gets-to-have-it/.


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Academic.Tips. "Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time?" October 8, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/read-wa-thiongos-minutes-of-glory-and-watch-talk-africa-a-conversation-with-ngugi-wa-thiongo-what-is-glory-in-minutes-of-glory-who-gets-to-have-it/.

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"Read Wa Thiong’o’s “Minutes of Glory” and watch Talk Africa: A Conversation with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What is glory in "Minutes of Glory"? Who gets to have it, and how do they get it? How does the pacing of the storytelling help to reinforce the idea of (mere) minutes of glory? What about this world the Beatrice lives in does Thiong'o seem to want to explore and highlight? What does the relationship between Beatrice and Nyaguthii reveal about female relationships in this culture, place, time?" Academic.Tips, 8 Oct. 2022, academic.tips/question/read-wa-thiongos-minutes-of-glory-and-watch-talk-africa-a-conversation-with-ngugi-wa-thiongo-what-is-glory-in-minutes-of-glory-who-gets-to-have-it/.

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