Purple Hibiscus Essay

1714 Words May 10th, 2012 7 Pages
TOPIC 2: Analyse the development of Kambili in Purple Hibiscus as she moves from strict, fearful obedience to tentative defiance of her father. In your response account for her initial subservience and explain what factors contribute to her increasing maturity and independence.

During the novel “Purple Hibiscus”, we witness the transformation of Kambili Achike from a silenced, repressed 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 joyous the world can be and how she also has a place within this joyous world. And through this Kambili finds a way to slowly crack through her father’s hold over her and come into her own.
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When we are first introduced to Amaka in the novel it is clear she believes Kambili is a snob. When Kambili comes to live with them Amaka treats Kambili badly and makes all sorts of nasty comments about her. We can assume in the beginning this is because Amaka truly believes this, but by the time Kambili defends herself in light of an “Amaka comment”, we see that in fact Amaka was treating Kambili the way she was to help her find her voice. Once Kambili and Amaka solidify their relationship, Amaka is like a friend to Kambili; a friend from whom she learns how to be a young teenager. Through Amaka’s influence Kambili learns to laugh, sing to music, respond to teasing about her “love interest”, among other things. These are all things which under her father’s rule are completely wrong and sinful. This illustrates her moving away from her father’s beliefs and control. Amaka is someone Kambili can talk to; someone she learns to open up to, which is reversing some of the damage done to her by her father.

Father Amadi teaches Kambili to smile. He teaches her that it’s okay to be happy and to express it. He helps break her silence which contributes to her moving away form her father. He helps her through a lot and helps her understand her thoughts and feelings. He also shows her a different side to her religion. A side not only based on the rules but a side based on love and
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