Patriarchy In Purple Hibiscus

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Purple Hibiscus is the first novel and Bildungsroman written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The story is set in Enugu, a city in post-colonial Nigeria during the civil war in 1960. The Nigerian households in the 1960s worked in a patrilineal manner where the father is the head of the household and he is obeyed. The wife and children have little say and the wife is only seen has the one who gives the man his children (Qualls, A). The main character and also the narrator, Kambili Achike explains what it is like living under the roof of her patriarchal Father, Eugene Achike. The issue of patriarchy will also be further elaborated on in this essay and how it affects the characters in the novel, not only in the given passage, but in the novel in general.…show more content…
He only allows Kambili and Jaja to visit him fifteen minutes at a time. Eugene brainwashes his children into thinking that Papa Nnukwu takes part in “devilish folklore” and that the Igbo tradition is “evil”. When Eugene sees the painting of Papa Nnukwu that Kambili kept, he beats Kambili until she is hospitalized, again using violence as discipline. Eugene is very set in his ways and follows the rules of Christianity religiously, that is why when he sees Kambili eating the morning her period starts he beats the whole family, not questioning why the rules were broken or considering that there could be a reason for it. Another example of Eugene’s patriarchal role is when he orders the children to pray for forgiveness when they stay with their Papa Nnukwu for longer than fifteen minutes. Eugene is not only the patriarch of his family, but also of the whole town. This essay is only a small part in the issue of patriarchy in the novel Purple Hibiscus. Eugene Achike does not only fulfil the role as patriarch in his family, but also in his church and in his town. His patriarchal force in a sense dictates Kambili’s identity and does not allow his children to develop as individuals. His strict rules can be seen as oppressive and has many consequences in the lives of the people around him before his
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