2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

A Voice in Bloom: Understanding the Transformation of Kambili's Identity in Chimamanda Adichie's Purple Hibiscus
Ashley A. Lynch
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Set in Nigeria, Purple Hibiscus portrays Kambili Achike, a 15 year-old-girl living in a hostile environment of rigid schedules and the constant threat of violence. This paper will examine, through a feminist lens, Aunty Ifeoma's role in pushing Kambili to find her voice. The root of Kambili's oppression stems from her father's firm rule as he forces Kambili to unattainable levels of perfection. The cycle is broken through Aunty Ifeoma's intervention. Aunty Ifeoma's character, in sharp contrast to Kambili's repressed identity emphasize the ways in which Aunty Ifeoma's words and actions shape Kambili's transformation. It is key to first understand each character individually before comprehending their impacts on one another. By supporting Purple Hibiscus as a bildungsroman, it will be identified how Aunty Ifeoma's actions and Kambili's reactions establish Kambili's sense of self and agency.

Keywords: Nigeria , Postcolonial, Bildungsroman, Abuse, Silence


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 410-3
Location: VH 1320
Time: 3:00

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