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Who Is Kambili In Purple Hibiscus

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Do you ever take for granted the female figures in your life? Often these women can have a strong impact both negatively and positively on a young person. Kambili, the main character in Purple Hibiscus, does not have much support from the female figures, which makes it hard for her to lead a peaceful life. In the novel, the strict life of Kambili Achike is told through her eyes as she is harshly punished and does not receive the love and care she deserves. Kambili is raised in a home with abuse at the hands of her father who is a well known, highly thought of religious figure. Her mother does not speak much, although she shows how important it is to stay strong. Lastly, her brother, who when younger had his sister's back, begins to rebel which …show more content…
As a mother figure in a family, it is common that she helps and supports her children. Mama, does this, but seems to be ‘ruled by Papa’ which limits her to how she can care for them. Mama is scared to even take a breath when around her husband because of his abusive behavior to her and her family yet she constantly “[worries] about [the kid’s] father” (146). Mama refuses to leave the relationship for a few reasons, all of which is affecting her family. Papa does great things for the outside community, which leads them to believe he is is a good man. If Mama decides to leave her relationship with Papa the community would think that Mama is crazy. Mama is also petrified to speak up or even question what Papa says which conveys to Kambili that when she becomes married, the man will make her rules, and she must follow them. An example of this is when Mama is repeatedly beaten by Papa and yet does not do anything to prevent the recurrence. After one beating, “her face was swollen and the area around her right eye was the black-purple shade of an overripe avocado” (190) depicting how harshly she is treated. Mama’s inability to stand up for herself or her children negatively impacts …show more content…
Because they are both around the same age, one would imagine that she would be the person to offer love and care to Kambili but instead, she mocks and antagonizes her. When Kambili and her brother first arrive in Nsukka, Amaka and her brothers do not seem interested in spending time with their cousins. From the beginning of the time spent with them, Amaka has an attitude towards anything that has to do with Kambili. Often Amaka makes fun of Kambili by criticizing her on what she is doing wrong. When Amaka judges Kambili it usually occurs in the manner of Amaka making fun of the strict but also lavish life she lives perhaps due to jealousy. Because Papa has a schedule made for the children, Amaka believes this a joke and uses the schedule as a way to make fun of Kambili by saying “maybe I should enter it in your schedule, how to peel a yam” (134). When Amaka and Kambili are together in the beginning of their relationship, Amaka quickly judges Kambili and does not have much respect for her but as time continues, this negative impact from Amaka slowly becomes one of Kambili’s strongest supporter as her cousin guides

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