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Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is set Nigeria, in a period of great civil and religious unrest.

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Introduction

Supervised Writing: PH ________________ Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is set Nigeria, in a period of great civil and religious unrest. More importantly, during this time period, Nigeria went through several acting governing bodies; throughout the entire timeline of the plot, these coups and revolutions went on in the background while the struggles of the Achike family were showcased in the forefront. However, these seemingly unconnected sets of events actually mirrored each other and greatly contributed to the unique portrayals of many of the characters in the novel. This idea is best expressed in Papa/Eugene, who symbolizes the government, and the rest of the Achikes, who are an allegory for different revolutionary ideologies in Nigeria. The first and most obvious member to revolt against Papa is Jaja. ...read more.

Middle

Kambili, on the other hand, is an allegorical embodiment of the peaceful, nonviolent demonstrators that opposed the many human rights violations of the authoritarian leadership of Nigeria. Adichie draws this parallel by contrasting Eugene?s newspaper with the silence of the Achike children. The Standard denounces the atrocities committed by the rulers of Nigeria, despite their strict censor-ship pratices and bribes. However, the Jaja and Kambili can do nothing about the horrible punishments that their father inflicts upon them. Kambili even remarks in the beginning of the book that the years before the familial revolt against Papa that ?Jaja?and I spoke more with our spirits than with our lips.? (16). The irony is that Papa fosters the same sense of censorship that he abhors in his own paper. ...read more.

Conclusion

General Obacha?s death was also not widely reported. In fact, the details of what really happened are still shrouded in mystery almost 15 years later. In any case, his death served to begin the long, slow process of reformation and forward political movement for Nigeria, just as Papa?s death allowed the fractured psyches of the remainder of the Achike family to heal. The various members of the Achike family are allegorical representations of the various demographics in Nigeria. Their family life, their struggles and conflicts and divisions, is microcosm of the geopolitical climate of Nigeria in the mid-90?s. Consequently, most, if not all of the characterization that the Adichie subtly inserted into the novel is actually her commentary on the politics of various ideologies in Nigeria at the time. ...read more.

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