Purple Hibiscus Patriarchy Analysis

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Patriarchy in Purple Hibiscus In this essay we will be contextualizing the extract on page 175 in the novel, Purple Hibiscus in order to discuss patriarchy in the novel. We will also be using other examples in the novel to state why that character is a patriarch. Contextualizing is defined as, to think about something or provide information about something that needs to be discussed. Patriarchy is defined as a system in the social world were males are seen as the person to hold the primary power, these people stretch from fathers in the family to priests of the community. In the novel, Purple Hibiscus we are introduced to a few patriarchs. Jaja and Kambili went to go visit Aunty Ifeoma. Later their grandfather got ill and Father Amandi gave…show more content…
If they do not do what he says or what he believes in, he punishes them. Punish I would say is an understatement since what he does to them is abuse. An example of this is when Eugene confronts Kambili about the fact that she knew her grandfather was coming to Nsukka but she did not inform her father. Her father is against it because her grandfather is a heathen. “He lowered the kettle into the tub, titled it toward my feet. He poured the hot water on my feet, slowly, as if he were conducting an experiment and wanted to see what would happen.”, “The pain of contact was so pure, so scalding, I felt nothing for a second. And then I screamed.”(Purple Hibiscus p.194) Her father replies with, “That is what you do to yourself when you walk into sin.” (Purple Hibiscus p.194) In other words, her father has the power over her mother, her brother Jaja and over Kambili, and if the do something that might question his authority he will punish…show more content…
Father Benedict has higher power over Eugene since he is their priest. He is a patriarch because he is seen as a man with power and authority in the community because of the fact that he is a leader of the Catholic religion in their eyes. The reason why I say that Eugene is afraid is because on page 29 he keeps asking Kambili’s mother to go with him inside when they drop by to visit Father Benedict. “Let me stay in the car and wait, biko,” Mama said, leaning against the Mercedes. “I feel vomit in my throat.” Papa turned to stare at her. I held my breath. It seemed a long moment, but it might have been only seconds. “Are you sure you want to stay in the car?” Papa asked. Mama was looking down; her hands were placed on her belly, to hold the wrapper from untying itself or to keep her bread and tea breakfast down. “My body does not feel right,” she mumbled. “I asked if you were sure you wanted to stay in the car.” Mama looked up. “I’ll come with you. It’s really not that bad.” (Purple Hibiscus p.29) In conclusion we see that there are many patriarchs in the novel, some on a higher level of authority than others. We see that how even people such as Eugene who is a patriarch can still fear others such as Father Benedict because of his level of authority. As I said it is ironic because Eugene who is a patriarch, who punishes his wife and two children, can also be

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