Commonwealth Writers' Prize Winner, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The breath-taking novel, "Purple Hibiscus"- Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize was written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This novel is about two children who live in an extremely religious Nigerian home, with their mother and fanatic catholic oppressive father. Life with their father is seen as very difficult because of the way they are treated once things are not done his way. Her aunt Ifeoma invites them over for a week’s visit - even though they end up staying longer because their father encounters some political difficulties and this is when we see the negative impacts that her father’s behaviour has had on her. "Purple Hibiscus" is made to come alive right beneath our eyes by the writer’s clever use of detailed observations which enhance her descriptions and the simplistic tone she uses to write.

Kambilli's relationship with her father is one of an indescribable nature. Kambilli is shown as a very respectful child towards her father. It is also seen that she was also quite fearful of her father. A clear representation of this is when she was so afraid of what her father would say and do to her when she does not come first in her school report. "I wanted to say that I came second so that he would know immediately, so that I would acknowledge my failure".

Kambilli also did not know how to socialize and did not have any friends because she always needs to rush back home after school. "Kevin had many other chores to do for Papa and I was not allowed to keep him waiting. So I always dashed out of my class... Once Kevin told Papa I took a few minutes longer, papa slapped my left and right cheeks at the same time" (page 41) Kambilli also shows a clear adoration and admiration towards her father. "But then, Papa was differe...

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... She felt that they could not be normal people and it's shown when she goes to her aunt’s house when she meets Father Amadi who at first appears strange to her "It felt almost sacrilegious this boyish-man in an open-neck t-shirt and jeans faded so much I could not tell if they had been black or dark blue- as Father” because of the way he was dressed.
In the novel, “Purple Hibiscus” Kambilli’s relationship with her father- Eugene has a negative impact on her life because it did not allow her to relate to people her own age due to the limitations that her father’s catholic religion had enforced. It made her unable to love people that cared deeply about her like Father Amadi and her grandfather, Papa Nnkwu and It also prevented her from being able to defend and speak up for herself. The tone used for Kambilli’s character, allows her to be charismatic to the readers.
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