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Motifs in Purple Hibiscus

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by

Samvit Shastri

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Motifs in Purple Hibiscus

Language Red is a frequently repeated and is representative of the Holy Spirit, which,in the Bible, is "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty"(2 Cor. 3.17).
The true freedom in the book begins during Pentecost, a celebration of the Holy Spirit and the Resurrection of Christ. Interestingly, "red was the color Pentecost" (Adichie 28).
"his leather bound missal with the red and green ribbons peeking out"(Adichie 6)
Red heavily affects Papa, espercially when he is at his emotional weakest.
Papa has red eyes when Ade Coker was killed, when Kambili came second, and when he was beating Kambili with a belt after he saw the painting of Papa-Nnkuwu
Red is also representative of pain and anger, Kambil's stigmata had red, Amaka spilt red juice, and Kambili's period blood on her bed.
The "Startling red hibiscuses" (Adichie 16), are symbolic of their current pain Red Walls are a small motif in Purple Hibiscus
and portray how controlled Kambili is by her
father.
Adichie talks about how Kambili's school was chosen because it had high walls .
Kambili also described the high "compound
walls" (Adichie 9) of her own home
She is heavily suffocated by these
walls Walls Silence In the book, silence in palpable and heavily feared by Kambili, who says she "feel[s] suffocated. The ...walls...narrowing, bearing down on me" (Adichie 7). Kambili has immense claustrophobia created by the silence. She is afraid to speak, but she also wants someone else to speak so that Papa doesn't have a chance to have on of his anger attacks. Langue is a recurring motif in Purple Hibiscus,Papa despises Igbo, as he is a "colonial product", and always talks firmly and with a purpose (Adichie 13). However Igbo is much more of an emotional language in the book.
Whenever Papa is angry he uses Igbo. When Father Amadi sings in his melodious voice, he praises God in Igbo. Papa-Nnkwu, who is loved by everyone, ALWAYS speaks in Igbo.
Igbo symbolizes a better time, before Papa was turned into a zealot by the missionaries and before the British could enter and disrupt the country. By:Samvit Shastri Motifs in Purple Hibiscus Graham, Ms. "Purple Hibiscus Chapter Notes.doc." Ms.Graham's 12 English Wiki / Purple Hibiscus Chapter Notes.doc. N.p., Dec. 2009. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

New American Standard Bible. Anaheim: Foundation, 1997. citations
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