19 March 2015
The Purple Hibiscus Culture and Beliefs
The struggle between indigenous and colonial values are omnipresent. As the wave of
colonisation and globalisation bashes into traditional cultures many people abandon their
traditional values. From the Australian aboriginals to Native Americans traditional cultures
are slowly disappearing. Nigeria is no difference after the British colonisation followed by the
introduction of foreign oil companies traditional Igbo culture takes on the challenges from
western beliefs. In the book Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Adichie constructs dichotomous
and contradictory characters and settings to promote the coexistence of traditional values
and colonial values. Simultaneously ridicules the idea of the intolerance of other values as a
means of advocating for a balance/middle ground for the coexistence of opposing beliefs.
Purple Hibiscus, a novel by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie. The story with post
colonial Nigeria as a backdrop is about fifteen years old Kambili Achike a teenager who has
difficulties living with her father a fanatically religious man who physically abuses his family
The author constructs papa Eugene as a character that expects others to abandon
traditional values and allows no mistakes. Yet this character isn’t perfect himself, different
from what he expects from others. This shows nothing have one quality only. When papa
speaks to Kambili about how she should get perfect grades:
“Why do you think I work so hard to give you and Jaja the best? You have to do something
with all these privilege. Because God has given you much, he expects much from you.
He expects perfection.” [Adichi, 47].
From this quote the author communicates that papa expects perfection from others which
lies within the concept of having one quality only. During papa’s conversation with Kambili: “
‘I committed a sin against my own body once,’ he said.” . This...