I really thought that the imagery of the rope and everything surrounding it was extremely significant in the novel Baho! First off, the novel accounts for the choosing of a rope as the weapon and hanging as punishment is because it is the worst and most severe beyond being stoned to death and other such options. The rope is reserved for the worst of the worst crimes and so is reserved for the alleged rapist. I don’t know if it’s the worst way in terms of dying but i think it’s the most visually appealing to an audience and as such leaves the most lasting image, lasting memory for a lasting message.
I think it’s interesting that in the marketplace while shopping for a good piece of rope all of the conversations are very crude and inappropriate, perpetuating the same behavior that they are going to use the rope to condemn. These conversations here and similar conversations throughout the book show how the society is quick to string up a scapegoat in order to mask their own indecencies and indiscretions
There’s a scene where there is a large crowd starting to gather around the beat down and exhausted, Nyamuragi. Well they’re not really gathering around Nyamuragi, they’re all really gathering around the rope or rather what it represents. I don’t know what it says about humanity but it’s clear that we as a species are drawn to violence and carnage especially when it’s not directed at us. All these people are gathering to watch the execution of this young, disabled boy and not one of them even knows why. Nnone of them know why he is going to be hanged but the longer they wait and the larger the crowd grows, the louder and more viscious and bloodthirsty they become. There’s a lot of emphasis also put on the rope being a virgin, never having been used for anything else. I think it’s a commentary on the fact that if they spent more time trying to change the minds and attitudes of the people instead of focusing on trivial pursuits like virgin ropes, then maybe they wouldn’t have the significant problems they have with violent sex crimes.