Kambili's Identity : Aunty Ifeoma

Decent Essays

Benton Troehler
Ms. Ritter
World Lit Honors 2
3 September, 2017
Kambili’s Identity Papa closes Kambili’s mind to believe that people of other religions are dangerous to her livelihood because he learned at a young age that Catholicism is the only religion that can be acceptable which he then pushes onto Kambili; however Aunty Ifeoma opens up Kambili’s mind by showing that people of other religions are indeed different from her but are not evil even though Aunty Ifeoma grew up Catholic like Papa was. Papa’s internalization of European values has a negative effect on Kambili by not allowing for her to experience certain activities because of Papa’s high expectations. In the novel, Papa’s father in-law, Grandfather, was one of the first to …show more content…

He expects perfection. I didn’t have a father who sent me to the best schools. My father spent his time worshipping gods of wood and stone. I would be nothing today but for the priests and sisters at the mission”’ (Adichie 47). Papa believes that God has provided Kambili a lot of prosperity so in return she should be perfect in every which way. He will only accept Kambili if she comes first in her class every single semester. Unlike Kambili, her father was not sent to the best schools, which in Papa’s mind are private Catholic schools, and his father worshipped false traditional Gods. Papa says that his father “worshipped gods of wood and stone” which denigrates the traditional religion that shows Kambili that the traditional religion is prehistoric and old.Then Papa decides that she has to be perfect in his eyes, that makes Kambili strive for something that is impossible because nobody is perfect in every way. Since Kambili wants to please her father, she strives for this impossible goal by not making any friends and keeping to her schedule that Papa has made her so that she would not get distracted. Overall, Papa wants Kambili to be this perfect child that only accepts Catholicism and nothing else, which drives her to close her mind to other people and religions. Then Aunty Ifeoma’s balance of traditional and Western ideas positively affected Kambili by opening up her eyes to other religions and ideas.

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