Purple Hibiscus Revision

Topics: Nigeria, Sani Abacha, Enugu State Pages: 6 (1241 words) Published: October 18, 2012



Our first impressions (*best character for this question)
1. Violent – opening lines “broke the figurines” “flung the missal” 2. fanatically religious – description of him taking mass 3. twisted idea of love – symbolism of “love sip”
4. revered in community - triad, Priest referred to “the Pope, Papa and Jesus”

* leader in community (successful industrialist, newspaper, church role) * supported human rights / opposed corruption (denounces coup, prints info on disappeared people, refuses bribes) * generous – donated to many causes

* misguided in terms of religion – very black-and-white * lashes out – “why do you walk into sin?”
* controlling – children / family
* rejects his own father and culture
* laden with sense of guilt / shame – his upbringing with Priests

Realistic / believable because
* not one-dimensional – man of contradictions
* difference in his public (status in community / crusader for justice) and private face (abuse, repressive towards children) * author presents him not as a monster but as a person we have to feel some sympathy for (his past – treatment by priests, self loathing) * author allows us insight into his feelings of guilt, regret over actions * characters respond to him in a range of ways – e.g. Kambili’s love for him, Ifeoma testifies to him being a “colonial product”

(*Best character to talk about in terms of character development / change)

* shy, silent, obedient, submissive, introverted, not independent * lives in her father’s shadow - desperate to please (words), afraid of disappointing him (school) * accepts his twisted form of love (love sips)

* at school is unable to socialise normally with others
* oppressed (punishments, trapped in schedules) and repressed (emotionally)

* from being ignorant / prejudiced towards her own culture understanding and embracing her Igbo identity * from silent speaking her thoughts / feelings
* from being obedient/passive more assertive (ptg of Papa N) * from accepting pain as love wanting more; enjoying the empowering ‘love’ of Father Amadi * from accepting to questioning “Do you think we are abnormal?”


Kambili v. Papa (K’s fear of displeasing P, Papa Nnukwu)
Eugene v. Ifeoma (diff attitude towards their culture / religion / children) Eugene v. Papa Amadi (diff approach to religion / “parenting”)

Jaja v. Papa best conflict to discuss
* Missal throwing – key act of defiance, turning point
* Jaja has gained a taste of freedom from his time in Nsukka * Purple hibiscus cuttings he plants – a metaphor for him “planting” freedom in their home in Enugu and his boldness in defiance. [red hibiscus assoc. with Papa – violence / pain / love] * Openly challenges Papa’s faith – refuses to go to communion * Disobeys – leaves table before others, doesn’t comment on cashew juice, asks for the keys to his room * His actions seem to give confidence to Kambili and Mama to defy Papa

Kambili & Papa
* based on fear (“we scaled the rod because we were terrified we couldn’t) * Papa is a God-like figure in his home– “He had seemed immortal” (K after he dies) * twisted way of loving (love sips “burned Papa’s love into me”) * tyrannical rule – schedules, punishments (foot burning, finger) * Papa influenced by Fundamentalist...
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