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Literary Analysis of Purple Hibiscus
Transcript of Literary Analysis of Purple Hibiscus
" My nightmares started then, nightmares in which I saw Ade Coker's
charred remains spattered on his dining table, on his daughters school uniform,
on his baby's cereal bowl, on his plate of eggs. In some of the nightmares, I was the daughter and the charred remains became Papa's" (207).
"He started to to kick me. The metal buckles on his slippers stung like bites from giant mosquitoes" (210).
Simile is a rhetorical device that compares to unlike things with the use of "like" or "as". It is clear that the quote above is a simile. Kambili is emphasizing the immense pain she is experiencing by comparing it to the pain felt from mosquito bites. This is a very important event within the novel, because the person whom Kambili revered the most is exerting his excessive force on her. The reader begins to see a shift within Kambili. Her reverence is beginning to be allocated more towards Papa Nnwuku, and less towards Papa. As Kambili desperately grasps to the only memory she has left of her previously estranged grandfather, Papa shows no mercy and wishes to strip her of the painting.
" When I told Jaja about this, he shrugged and said that Papa did not approve of people speaking in tongues, although we both knew that Papa must have been speaking in tongues. Although we both knew that Papa did not approve of people speaking in tongues because it was what the fake pastors at those mushroom Pentecostal churches did" (208).
" Heathen worship. Hellfire. The kicking increased in tempo, and I thought of Amaka's music that sometimes started off with a calm saxophone and then whirled into a lusty singing. I curled around myself tighter, around the pieces of the painting; they were soft, feathery. They still had the metallic smell of Amaka's palette" (211).
Upon reading this excerpt, the reader can imagine the smooth sound of the saxophone flowing into the tranquil sounding voice of the singer. This is an example of auditory imagery. This excerpt also encompasses imagery that appeals to the sense of touch. The reader can imagine the gritty feel of the paintings remnants, as Kambili desperately holds on to them while being beaten. Lastly, gustatory imagery is present as well, because the reader can imagine the smell of Amaka's pallete still present on the painting. This is one of many examples in which Adichie includes imagery in her novel to further connect the reader to the text. This rapid succession of details is effective in engulfing the reader, enabling them to envision the whole scene of novel.
By: Elijah Marbuary
10th Grade Literature
October 21, 2014
Literary Analysis of Purple Hibiscus
Although the tone of this passage isn't particularly explicit, there is a bit of remorse incorporated in this quote. The reader is aware that Kambli is excessively submissive towards her father. Kambili is regretful of obeying her fathers every command. There is also sorrow present in her words. Her words flow out of her mouth in a distant and melancholy tone. As a result, this engenders within the reader a feeling of empathy for Kambili.
"When he was ten, he had missed two questions on his catechism test...Papa took him upstairs and locked the door. Jaja in tears came out supporting his left hand with his right" (145).
This flashback serves to shed insight about a previous experience in Jaja and Kambili's life. It is revealed that Papa's abusive nature was present well before he beginning events of the novel. Jaja's deformed finger is a daily reminder of Eugene's bellicose nature, and how
Metaphor is a rhetorical device that compares two unlike things.
The excerpt above compares Father Amadi's voice to the smooth and vibrant sound of music. His voice seems to resonate within her well after she hears it, similar to how music echoes throughout a room. This enables the reader to further define character relations. The reader can conclude hat father Amadi is a very profound person in Kambili's life. This is extremely evident within the text, because Kambili frequently fantasizes about Father Amadi and admires him from a distance.
" Father Amadi's musical voice echoed in my ears until I fell asleep" (139).
" 'Ezi okwu?' Father Amadi's brows furrowed"(148).
" 'O gini? Have I not told you now"(149)?
The African dialect is unique to the igbo people. Adichie utilizes these phrases throughout the book to help connect the reader further to the text. The use of this dialect has generates a sense of reality, because it is logical for the characters to speak African languages.
“I meant to say I am sorry Papa broke your figurines, but
the words that came out were, “I’m sorry your figurines
broke, Mama.” She nodded quickly, then shook her head to
show that the figurines did not matter. They did, though.
Years ago, before I understood, I used to wonder why she
polished them each time… I would go down to see her
standing by the étagère with a kitchen towel soaked in soapy
water. She spent at least a quarter of an hour on each
ballet-dancing figurine. The last time, only two weeks ago,
when her swollen eye was still the black-purple color of an
overripe avocado, she had rearranged them after she polished
them” [1, p10-11].
One of the first symbols the reader is introduced to is the figurines present within Kambili's household. Almost always, the figurines are mentioned with Mama. Kambili notes that Mama can frequently be found polishing the figurines. Thus, the reader can infer that the figurines are highly regarded in Mama's eyes. The figurines also symbolize Mama's fragileness. When papa throws the missal across the room and it breaks the figurines, the reader can sense a shift within Mama. She is now more distant
" 'We will take Jaja to Nsukka first, and then we'll go to America to visit Aunty Ifeoma,' I say. ' We'll plant new orange trees in Abba when we come back, and Jaja will plant purple hibiscus, too, and I'll plant ixora so we can suck the juices of the flowers.' I am laughing. I reach out and place my arm around Mama's shoulder and she leans toward me and smiles. Above, clouds like dyed cotton wool hang low, so low i feel I can reach out and squeeze the moisture from them. The new rains will come down soon" (306-301).
An exemplum is a moral anecdote, brief or extended, real or fictitious, used to illustrate a point.
Kambili recites this quote subsequent to her visit to the jail in order to visit her brother.
Kambili has gone through a great struggle in the novel.
She has experienced domestic abuse within her household, and has even lost her father. Normally, it is common for someone who has experienced these things to feel defeat and depression. However, this quote does not show defeat. Instead, it exudes determination, and the will to move on from this ordeal. Ultimately, the moral of this story is to persevere through hardships. One should not sit idle while life passes them by. Instead they should allocate all there strength to the future.
The purpose of this presentation is to explore the numerous literary devices that permeate the novel, Purple Hibiscus, and how these devices enhance the intensity of the text. Illustrious author, Chimimanda Adichie does well to incorporate these devices in an articulate manner that the reader can identify. In addition, these literary devices, also aid the reader in identifying character traits and relations. Ultimately, Adichie amalgamates all of these literary devices into a cohesive text. In doing so, she creates a very realistic piece of literature that the reader can enjoy.