Purple Hibiscus

This is seen towards the end of the novel when Kambili’s mother poisons Eugene and kills him after all her years of pain and suffering. In reality occurrences like this do not cease to exist. Infact it happens daily in the real world. The solution people like Kambili’s mother have chosen to rectify her family’s problem is no where near right; it was just an act of desperation. Desperate to get rid of this tyrannical lifestyle. Abusive relationships, whether it be between a husband and a wife, father and daughter, or father and son takes a oll on the person.

In the case of the Adichie family, Eugene strives for perfection. He doesn’t hate his family, he loves them dearly, his intentions are good but the way he goes about doing it is morally wrong. There is a scene in the book where he punishes Kambili by pouring steaming hot water on her feet. While he does this he cries along with her. His tears show that he is sorry that he is doing this, but he continues anym’ays because in his mind it is the right thing to do. That’s nother aspect of abusive relationships, the fact that the abuser does not see his wrong.

Eugene beats his wife and two children because he thinks it is the right form of discipline. Despite the way he treats Kambili, she constantly sees the need to make him proud. She’s happy when she makes him proud. Even after his death, she thinks about how he would be proud of her. She is even still open to love, even though her father shows his in an abusive way. She falls for Father Amadi and she trusts him. You would think if you were beign abused by your wn father you would be so skeptical of people and their intentions, especially to go as far as loving them.

Surprisingly it wasn’t the case with ever so quiet Kambili. The Adichie family is Nigerian and lives is Nsukka, so they have a sense of culture and traditional practices over there like in any country. In this case Eugene the male dominant in the household is in charge of how his families lives are lived. This isn’t seen just in Nigeria but can be seen in other places like the middle east. The man is the head of the house and whatever he says goes. Women are not to have much of an opinion and must obey the male leader in their household.

The same is seen in The Purple Hibiscus. Women are instilled from early in their lives that their sole purpose is to obey their father or husband, or whoever that male dominant figure in their life is. If they disobey they are taught that it is right and just to be treated and punished so severely. It’s really a sad thing to see because abuse can really breakdown a person and push them so far off the edge. Unfortunately this is how they live. It is also unfortunate that the book had to end so tragically.

That they couldn’t have worked things out. Its sad to see that Kambili’s mother saw death as the only way to save her family. When in reality it really didn’t. Jaja, her son took the blame for his fathers death and was sentenced to jail. Kambili and her mother didn’t have a close relationship after wards. Her mother seemed to have gone mad and she didn’t really know how to help her. All Eugene wanted was the perfect family but instead he got the perfect disaster, and it was all entirely his fault.

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