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Purple Hibiscus: Jaja

An in depth look at the character of Jaja from Purple Hibiscus
by

Ben Ashley

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Purple Hibiscus: Jaja

Jaja An in depth look at the character of Jaja from Purple Hibiscus End of the Story Start of the Story Jaja and his Father Jaja's Family Life at Aunty Ifeoma's Jaja and his Father Jaja is a troubled young man who knows he
ought to be supporting his mother and his
sister but is not mentally strong enough.
Adichie presents this when Mama has a
miscarriage, caused by Papa, and Jaja does
not help her. Papa is the authoritative figure in his household and
Adichie presents this when Papa pours boiling water on
Jaja and Kambili's feet for not telling him about Amaka's painting. At the beginning of the story, despite wanting to, Jaja does not stand up to Papa and lets him run the house the way he wants even though Jaja and the rest of the family know it is morally wrong. At the beginning of Purple Hibiscus Jaja is
presented as a child, we can see this in the
way that he is controlled by his father and
blindly does what he commands. For example,
Papa regularly forces Jaja, along with the rest
of the family, to go to communion. Incidentally
this is what sparks the 'change' that we see
in Jaja throughout the story. While at Aunty Ifeoma's house Jaja blossoms. He follows the example of his younger cousin Obiora, concocting his own rite of initiation out of helping his family, tending a garden and killing a chicken. This is what sparks Jaja to change and stand up to his father which he eventually does when refusing to go to communion. This is the main factor that caused the change in Jaja and could be considered as the most important part of the book. Jaja becomes more confident and grows as
both a character and as a person as the story
unfolds, for example he stands up to his
father by refusing to go to communion. He
knows he will get punished for doing this
but decides that his morals and family are more important which shows his newly found maturity which has grown throughout the story. The Background Information 17 years old
Kambili's older brother
Son of Papa Eugene and Mama Jaja's Family As Jaja becomes mentally stronger throughout
the story, he begins to take more responsibility
for himself and increasingly makes his own
decisions for himself and his family. An example
of this is when Jaja takes the blame for Mama
after she poisened Papa, despite knowing the
consequences. We can also see the change when
Jaja says "I should have taken care of Mama."
(page 289) Life at Papa's House
Full transcript