Purple Hibiscus - Relationship Essay (Kambili and Ifeoma)

1608 words 7 pages
Describe an important relationship in the text and explain the effect of that relationship on characters, events and ideas in the book.
An important relationship in the novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie is the relationship between Kambili and her Aunty Ifeoma, and her family. It introduces Kambili into a less sheltered environment where she is not only free to speak her mind, she is encouraged to question things, and form her own opinions. She also looks up to and admires her cousin, Amaka, who influences Kambili to be more confident and free thinking, like she is. The relationship between Kambili and Aunt Ifeoma’s family also opens Kambili up to new relationships, such as her relationship with Papa-Nnukwu. She begins to
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She has never been given a chance to truly get to know her biological grandfather, as all her time with him has been controlled by Eugene, and restricted to minutes only once a year. However through spending time with Aunty Ifeoma, and her family, she began spending more time with her Papa-Nnukwu, and was taught – by Ifeoma especially – that just because he practiced a different faith to Kambili, it was not necessarily wrong, and he should not have to be cut out of her life, or Eugene’s for that matter, just because of their contrasting beliefs. This broadens Kambili’s mind, to accept more than just what her father accepts in life. And to understand that there is more than just her father’s way, that she has the ability to make her own decisions, and form her own opinions, and that she is intelligent enough to do so sensibly.
Kambili particularly admires her cousin, Amaka’s outspokenness, her confidence, and her ability to speak her mind with no restraints. The idea of laughing, speaking and acting so freely is such a strange concept to Kambili, whose emotions have been almost, ignored and oppressed her whole life, by her father, and so she has grown accustomed to not expressing them at all. But she takes inspiration from her cousin, and longs to be able to open up and be more like her – she almost uses Amaka as a model for her change, an example to learn by. For much of the novel, Kambili internalises her desire for Amaka to take a moment