In What Way Does The Author Portray The Character Of Kambili By Emely Yafai 9X
In the novel, Purple Hibiscus, Adichie clearly portrays the conflicting unjust treatment of Kambili’s household where her father is head of the family. Where she is ordered to follow a strict schedule. When visiting Aunty Ifeoma and her family Kambili senses independence she has never experienced before, she see’s thing she didn’t used to see, she is exposed to the different way of life, to freedom something which she is not used to! We also witness the transformation of Kambili Achike from a quiet, overpowered and wary girl into a more confident, mature and happy young woman. This change is brought upon by significant characters in the story, who help show Kambili how thrilling the world can be and how she also has a place within this joyous world. Through this Kambili finds a way to release herself from her father’s hold over her and come into her own. The author purposely pointed out the Catholic upbringing of papa in the novel and her brother, Jaja, as a complete difference to their Auntie’s strong Igbo traditional customs. Adichie shows there is a clash when it comes to restriction to freedom with the Auntie’s reaction to ‘Papa’s schedule’ when Jaja ‘shifted on his chair before pulling his schedule out of his pocket’. In response to this, the aunty ‘started to laugh so hard that she staggered’, which states a sense of shock, humour and unfamiliarity when coming across their firm and overbearing childhood. Not only does Adichie use Aunty Ifeoma’s character to show the clear unfair treatment with freedom, but it is also portrayed through Kambili’s cousins, Amaka and Obiora. When Jaja informs them on the schedule they follow every day, Amisaka scornfully remarks: ‘Interesting. So now rich people can’t decide what to do day by day, they need a schedule to tell them.’ This is expressed in a mocking tone to suggest the cousin’s scorn and detachment to Kambili and Jaja, indicating she can’t relate to their ‘rich’ lifestyle whilst also implying she wouldn’t want to comply to it either.
We can tell from reading Purple Hibiscus that Kambili obviously looks up to her father and is very obedient towards him! She wants to make him happy, pleased and proud and the author shows us this through this quote ‘I wanted to make Papa proud, to do as well as he had done’ From this quote we can tell she loves her father, because she wants to make him feel pleasure from her achievements, to make him proud and I would think from this quotation that she looks up to him and uses his achievements as an example! I think this because it says ‘to do as well as he had done’, when we say the word proud we mean feeling pride and giving cause for delight! She wants to give Papa a reason to be proud to show him she can do as well as him. ‘I wanted’ meaning she had the desire to make him proud and happy. I think maybe she might need him to be proud of her so she feels relief, happiness, and accomplishment! She wants and needs him to be content, so she knows she isn’t a disappointment to him and that she is just as intelligent as him. She wanted to show Papa she can be clever, obedient and brilliant just like him! Her making him proud is showing and proving to him she can do it and she can make him feel pleased and satisfied.
She is desperate for her father’s approval. Her father’s view matters more than the teacher’s view of her and her work. She wants to have her peak to show her father that she is capable of achieving great things!
After failing her father because she came second in her class not first, Kambili feels heartbroken and can’t help but think of all the things she would have wanted him to do but more needed him to do. Adichie is trying to show us this by using this quote because she has put the specific words
‘I needed him to smile at me…’
So she is telling us Kambili needed something (his smile) because it was essential to her. She...
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