Purple Hibiscus - Relationship Essay (Kambili and Ifeoma)

Topics: Family, Mind, Life Pages: 4 (1619 words) Published: February 3, 2013
Describe an important relationship in the text and explain the effect of that relationship on characters, events and ideas in the book. An important relationship in the novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie is the relationship between Kambili and her Aunty Ifeoma, and her family. It introduces Kambili into a less sheltered environment where she is not only free to speak her mind, she is encouraged to question things, and form her own opinions. She also looks up to and admires her cousin, Amaka, who influences Kambili to be more confident and free thinking, like she is. The relationship between Kambili and Aunt Ifeoma’s family also opens Kambili up to new relationships, such as her relationship with Papa-Nnukwu. She begins to learn to know him for who he is, rather than through her father’s perspective of him, and through this, realises that her father’s way of life, is not the only way of life she has the option to take. Kambili also takes a lot of notice of her cousin, Amaka, who is the open minded, fearless individual that Kambili admires, and aspires to be. The development of their relationship challenges Kambili, and forces her to speak her mind and stand up for herself - something she has never done before. Another important aspect of this relationship is that Kambili is able to see the growth and changes in Jaja, from the beginning of the novel when they were so similar, sheltered and oppressed by their father, to the end when they are more independent and free thinking individuals. Throughout the novel it allows the reader to distinguish the changes in Jaja through comparing him to Kambili, who takes longer to adjust to their new environment, and the conditions within that environment (or lack of conditions). Kambili begins the story in her father, Eugene’s household, where she and her brother are almost completely oppressed by her his controlling, domineering, abusive figure so omnipresent in the household. Her need to constantly please her...
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