About ‘Purple Hibiscus’

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The book Purple Hibiscus created from Chimamanda Adichie, placed in post-colonial Nigeria during Civil War in the late years of 1960, it’s a bildungsroman that focuses highly on family relationships and also highly on religion and culture ideals. The text describing Kambili and Jaja’s first meal at their Aunty Infeoma’s home in Nsukka, Nigerian gives a blunt contrast to the harsh living in Enugu as a effect of Papa’s abusive character. The freedom and fun of Aunty Ifeoma’s home besides their financial limitations confuses Kambili, while walking around with the background of her life and exposing her to radically diverse values and beliefs. Adichie foreshadows the growth of Kambili’s character mentally through the immense contrast between her own house with her family and the Nsukka’s home open and loving environment.

Body paragraph

Adichie shows the symbolic setting in this novel to powerfully carry the difference in attitudes and love of Kambili’s and Aunty Ifeoma’s families/ household. The difference between wealth is handled with oftenly, showing that better material is not as needed as the spiritually cared for environment of Nsukka. Adichie uses natural self-image while explaining the dining table in the second paragraph, mentioning the “wood that cracked in dry weather” and the simile of “the outermost layer was shedding, like a molting cricket, brown slices curling up from the surface.” The source to natural cycles shows that Aunty Ifeoma’s growing attitudes; her encouragement of natural growth of outlook and social skills. This is in difference with the naïve voice of Kambili, which is obvious in the related syntax showed throughout a lot of her narrative in the novel. However, the picturing of the “molting cricket” suggests that in this setting, Kambili will go through change, maturing and possibly giving a different look on her family’s relationship. This notion is reviewed by the image of “brown slices curling up” which implies nourishment and has somewhat of an aesthetic worth.

Body paragraph 2

Kambili’s emotional response to the different setting of Aunty Ifeoma’s house that is taken by Adichie gives us insight into the change that begins to get into her during her visit to Nsukka. At first, she is viewed to be very passive, like a time when Adichie writes in the novel that she “followed Amaka back into the kitchen and watched her slice and fry…”, using verbs only to describe Amaka. As the meal begins, Kambili feels more and more uncomfortable, stating in the novel that she “tried to concentrate, tried to get the food down”, the convey applying her intense insecurity while faced with the freedom of speech from her cousins. This disorder signals the inner problems that Kambili will face as she is exposed to the lifestyle in her Aunt Infroma’s home, possibly effecting in a more independent and confident type of person. Kambili is clearly surprising at the constant flow and feel of the conversation that was going on between her cousins and Aunty Infeoma Adichie writes, “Laughter floated over my head”, using verbs to show the enjoyment that Kambili is not a part of, but lives for. The metaphor also suggests that simply by intaking this laughter, by living in this setting, Kambili is currently being inspired with the happiness and freedom around her.

Body paragraph 3

Adichie repeats the freedom and fun in the household, continuing the book with “Words spurted from everyone”, using the sudden and modest connotations of the verb to underline once the more disorderly yet more intimate surroundings in Aunty Ifeoma’s home. The use of parallel syntax in “often not seeking and not getting any response” captures the cousins’ give back to the family strength through the simple act of sharing a stream of state. They seem to maintain forces, increasing the family unity and intimacy. Kambili feels that the speech it’s very high, as she says proudly, “we always spoke with a purpose back home”; this is very sarcastic, however, since we are familiar with the surface praise made to please Papa during mealtime. Her nervousness to this type of restricted speech reveals her severely limited socia, which is obviously likely to be get better during her stay amongst her talkative family. Kambili’s inner problem mirrors the start of the age of wisdom, when the Western world joined from a stagnant period in history due to the repression of Christianity. Adichie implies that with regards to Kambili and Jaja, the only verbal meeting of the characters is an basic spur for Kambili’s independence and perhaps firmer stance in the family conflict.

Body paragraph 4

The view of Aunty Ifeoma and her kids are an very important element that progresses Kambili’s realization and feelings aspirations. Aunty Ifeoma’s claim that “Today we’ll treat Kambili and Jaja as guests, but from tomorrow they will be part of the family and join in the work…” subsume a fast change in time frame and reflects her painless, welcoming nature. Adichie recommend the possibilities that because of the open and loving atmosphere at Nsukka, Kambili will knowledge more of a good family spirit with her aunt than with her own family household in Enugu. The smart mouth which Aunty Ifeoma tells Kambili, “We do not say Mass in the name of grace like your father does” emphasizes her denying of the rules Papa gives on his family, Kambili is shown for the first time to thoughts and values that clearly oppose her father’s. Her silence highlights the impact of the constant use of speech by Amaka, Obiora and Chima, much which is punctuated with exclamation marks. For example, when Chima says, “ ‘Mommy! I want the chicken leg’ ”, Adichie shows the ease with which even the youngest child can show his feelings - himself. Kambili’s raging shyness and independence, created by her lack of speech, is in high relief, and the powerful existence of her cousins within the relating opposition seems to signal Kambili’s slowing gaining confidence. Amaka and Obiora’s speech is with actions, such as in “Obiora pushed at his glasses as he spoke”, emphasizing their comparative existence not only verbally but also through body language. Her discomfort and insecurity in this setting shows that she dislikes these things in her cousins, and her hatred tone while stating, “but my cousins seemed to simply speak and speak and speak” displays her likely to be as outspoken as her cousins. Adichie thus prepares Kambili for a growth of self-realization and maturity. The slack of break in the last sentencing of the line implies that Kambili’s cousins’ speech is ongoing and fast paced, implying that their continual energy and social likes are very high. Kambili’s admiration of this action serves as a hopeful indication of her growth as a character.


Adichie’s placement of two different lifestyles and looks of Papa and Aunty Ifeoma’s households in the bildungsroman Purple Hibiscus preps for the changes that take place in the main characters. The difference in Aunty Ifeoma’s household nd Kambili’s own father’s household gives in to the inception of a love to find her own voice. Adichie implies the pain of this process for Kambili, and thus shows her disdain for the highly oppressive atmosphere the religious fanatic Papa creates for his kid, severely hurting their social and inquisitive capacities in spite of the kind support he gives to the community. The families situation mirror the post-colonial situation of Nigeria, portraying the oppressive government and the spreading dissent of the population, leading to a critical problem that may lead to significant change in the state of affairs.   

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About 'Purple Hibiscus'. (2021, May 23). Retrieved April 18, 2024 , from

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