2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Issues of Self-Esteem and Self-Identity in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things
Jessica A. Morgan
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Child psychologist Robert Thornberg states that children do not simply internalize the social world but strive to make sense of their culture and to participate in it. In Adichie's and Roy's novels, Purple Hibiscus (2003) and The God of Small Things (1997), respectively, two sets of brother and sister siblings struggle with issues of self-esteem and self-identity. Both Adichie and Roy, in their texts, expose the detrimental effects on Kambili and Jaja, and Rahel and Estha, the siblings in their respective novels, of living under constant fear of parental and/or familial rejection. In Roy's novel, Rahel and Estha are ostracized by their mother's Syrian Christian family for her marriage outside her community. In Adichie's work, Kambili and Jaja are subjected to cruel physical punishment by their father. This paper will analyze the similarities and differences between the ways in which the two sets of siblings process their sense of self-esteem and self-identity.

Keywords: self-esteem, self-identity, siblings, The God of Small Things, Purple Hibiscus


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 48-2
Location: VH 1432
Time: 1:30

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