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Purple Hibiscus MET

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Mara Timmeney

on 17 November 2013

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Transcript of Purple Hibiscus MET

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Literary Devices
Jaja's Rebellion
Eye Communication
is a quiet girl who has a lot to offer but keeps to herself. Kambili is mature beyond her years and slowly learns to share her wisdom
is Kambili's brother and he flourishes when he is able to spend time with his aunt.
is the father of Jaja and Kambili and is married to Beatrice. He is an incredibly religious man and forces his family to be religious too.
is the mother of Jaja and Kambili and is a very kind-hearted woman. She is also a very submissive person.
Aunty Ifeoma


incredibly strong woman and helps both Kambili and Jaja break out of their protected shells.
Father Amadi
is a pastor that lives near Aunty Ifeoma and her family. Aunty Ifeoma, her family, Kambili and Jaja all seem to be mesmerized by Father Amadi's presence and all look up to him in one way or another.
is Aunty Ifeoma's daughter and forms an unlikely yet strong bond with Kambili.
is the father of Eugene and Aunty Ifeoma
He is a kind, loving man rooted in the traditional non-Christian beliefs of his native culture, which is the reason him and Eugene have such a tense relationship.
Fun Fact

Adichie has attended six universities during her life time, with three of them being in the United States, including Yale, Hopkins and Princeton.
Purple Hibiscus is written as a narration with Kambili as the speaker. Throughout the book, figurative language is used to describe what is going on around Kambili and how she interprets it.

The subdued tone that Adichie creates leads to the constricted atmosphere that surrounds the entire Achike family.
Purple Hibiscus
Many factors affect why both Jaja and Kambili are so quiet and reserved. One of the factors include that their father does not believe children should speak out of place. Another reason is that Jaja and Kambili did not always need to use verbal language because they could communicate with their eyes. Kambili and Jaja are united by silence. When Jaja begins to spread his wings a bit, Kambili is dismayed that she can no longer communicate with him via the secret language of their eyes.

"My eyes met Jaja's. His eyes were watery, full of suggestions. No! i told him, with a tight blink" (Adichie 125).
"I could not find the words in our eye language..." (Adichie 108).
Tatiana, Mara and Emily
The book opens with Jaja refusing to go to communion causing his father to get angry and throw a book at him (Adichie 6).
In Nsukka, with Aunty Ifeoma and his cousins, Jaja experiences the opportunities of freedom and begins to grow as an individual .
Leaving the table before praying (Adichie 14).
Not commenting on his father's cashew juice (Adichie 13).
Asking for the keys to his room (Adichie 191).
All of Jaja's small acts compel Kambili and her mother to show defiance towards Papa.
As Jaja continues to grow, so does the purple hibiscus; The purple hibiscus follows Jaja's rebellious path
About the book
Nigeria is a politically unstable country. In this text, 15 year old Kambili takes the reader through her transformation from a timid girl to a blossoming young adult. She lives with her brother, mother and father, all of whom play a vital role in her growth. Eugene, her father, is portrayed as the antagonist. The children and mother are physically abused when they fail to live up to Eugene's impossibly high standards. Throughout their lives the family has always looked at Eugene as an authority figure that they must obey, but things start to change as Jaja, Kambili's brother, begins to rebel against their father's unopposed control. With the help of Aunty Ifeoma, Father Amadi, Papa-Nnukwu and others, Kambili and Jaja discover that life can be different and better outside their father's control.
The Purple Hibiscus

The purple hibiscus is a reoccurring symbol that describes the changes that are happening within Kambili.
Her urge to "bloom" and seek a life without definite constrictions and with independence are all signified through the purple hibiscus. As the purple hibiscus starts to grow, so does Kambili.
The purple hibiscus is also a symbol for the character's yearning for freedom; "Jaja's defiance seemed to me now Like Aunty Ifeoma's experimental purple hibiscus: rare, fragrant with the undertones of freedom...A freedom to be, to do" (Adichie 16).
Hibiscuses are originally red and in the text they are a symbol for the pain and violence Papa causes. Kambili says "my memories started before, when all the hibiscuses in our front yard were a startling red" (Adichie 16).
As the red hibiscuses are replaced by the purple hibiscuses Kambili and Jaja obedient ways are being replaced by their new freedom.
Examples of metaphors and similes
Examples of imagery
Examples of irony and hyperbole
Irony: Eugene is supposed to be an example setter for the community, "a man of integrity" (Adichie 42) but he beats his family.
"Kambili looks frightened to death" (Adichie 173).
"We ate quickly because of the heat, because even the soup tasted like sweat" (Adichie 264).
About the author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on September 15, 1977 in Enugu.
Purple Hibiscus
is her first novel. She has also written
Half of a Yellow Sun
The Thing Around Your Neck
. All three books have been well received. Adichie spends most of her time in the United States and Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops.
“Stories matter. Many stories
matter. Stories have been used to
dispossess and to malign, but
stories can also be used to
empower and to humanize. Stories
can break the dignity of a people,
but stories can also repair that
broken dignity.”
Jaja helps Aunty Ifeoma with her garden which has purple hibiscuses. He then plants purple hibiscuses at his own home. This is a metaphor for freedom and Jaja's defiance.
Kambili repeatedly compares Papa to a God-like figure; "He had seemed immortal" (Adichie 287).
"songs that made Aunty Ifeoma sing in echoes, like an opera singer' (Adichie 125),
"his stubble looked like tiny dots drawn on his jaw" (Adichie 150)
"When she finally spoke, she did so slowly, like someone addressing a stubborn Child' (Adichie 222)
Tunca, Daria. "The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website." The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website. University of Liège, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Purple Hibiscus. New York: Anchor, 2003. Print.
The Costs and Benefits of Assimilation
Adopting Values and Norms
Our Individual Freedoms and Our Community
"The clean air tinged with goat droppings and ripening oranges" (Adichie 58).
"A line of tiny ginger-colored ants..." (Adichie 142)
"...the clay-smooth skin, the straight eyebrows..." (Adichie 176)
"...at the blue-and-gold Legion of Mary sicker on it" (Adichie 180)
"There was the smell of freshness in the air, that edible scent the baked soil gave out at the first tough of rain" (Adichie 218)
" The lightness was so sweet I tasted it on my tongue, the sweetness of an overripe bright yellow cashew fruit" (Adichie 180)
“...I could reach out and pluck a leaf if it were not for the silver-colored crisscross of mosquito netting. The bell-shaped yellow fruits hung lazily, drawing buzzing bees that bumped against my window’s netting” (Adichie 8)
Full transcript