Purple Hibiscus - Relationship Essay (Kambili and Ifeoma)

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Describe an important relationship in the text and explain the effect of that relationship on characters, events and ideas in the book. An important relationship in the novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie is the relationship between Kambili and her Aunty Ifeoma, and her family. It introduces Kambili into a less sheltered environment where she is not only free to speak her mind, she is encouraged to question things, and form her own opinions. She also looks up to and admires her cousin, Amaka, who influences Kambili to be more confident and free thinking, like she is. The relationship between Kambili and Aunt Ifeoma’s family also opens Kambili up to new relationships, such as her relationship with Papa-Nnukwu. She begins to…show more content…
As a result of this upbringing, they have been taught that anything their father disapproves of is wrong and off limits to them, and so have led an extremely sheltered life monitored by their father every moment. However, this lifestyle is completely contradicted by Aunty Ifeoma and her family. Aunt Ifeoma’s lifestyle is completely alien to Kambili; through this relationship Ifeoma constantly encourages Kambili to think for herself, to question and contest ideas, and to form her own opinions – she is the catalyst for the change Kambili experiences. She teaches Kambili to be free from her father’s oppression, that she does not need him to think for her because she has her own brain to do that herself. Ifeoma cares more for the personal well being of Kambili, Jaja, and Mama alike, rather than just how well they abide by Eugene’s perception of what it is to live the perfect Catholic life. Towards the end of the novel, Aunty Ifeoma is the first one to notice the change of Kambili’s character. She had paid the most attention to, and put the most effort into helping Kambili’s character transform in this way, and understands it as a gift from God. “’Kambili is right,’ she [Ifeoma] said. ‘Something from God was happening there.’” The relationship between Kambili and Aunt Ifeoma and her family, also develops her relationship with Papa Nnukwu – Eugene’s non-Catholic father. All her life, she has been taught by her

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