Not only is she a girl who isn’t given much love by her father, she also doesn’t really have a voice because she is sacred and brainwashed. Both Kambili and the nation are in a time of dramatic changes. Nigeria’s political climate and the drama of Kambili’s family, the Achiki family, and massively linked. During this political change many coups took place one of which culminates in military rule.
Papa and his paper, the Standard, are critical of the corruption that is ushered in by a leader who is ot elected by the people and ironically, Papa is a self-righteous dictator in his own home. By papa being a self-righteous dictator in his own home it affects Kambili and makes her live a life that Papa wants her to live. Papa is wrathful towards his children when they stray from his chosen path for them. During the novel Papa we can see papa’s wrath when Kambili didn’t come first.
Papa was angry, disappointed, he had no sympathy and we know this because Papa called Kambili upstairs and said “Kambili…. You didn’t put in your best this term. You came second because you chose to” PG 42. In the wake of Ade Coker-‘s death, Papa beats Kambili so severely she is hospitalized in critical condition and this is all a backlash of Kambili don’t coming first which clearly again symbolizes Papa anger when she doesn’t do the best, when she doesn’t meet his standards.
Both in Nigeria and in the home, violence begets violence. Kambili is kept away from the unrest at first. Papa doesn’t want them to see to really Nigeria . But during a car ride they witness the real Nigeria. They witness protests, deadly roadblocks, and harassment from the safety of their car. But when they arrive in Nsukka, they are thrust into political debate. Kambili describes what she sees, she is shocked, she wonders “about the people who had been inside” them destroyed cars.
Obiora says the university is a microcosm for Nigeria – ruled by one man with all the power. Pay has been withheld from the professors and light, power is shut off frequently and food prices rise. There are rumours that the sole administrator is misdirecting funds intended for the university.. Kambili now understand first- hand the struggle of her cousins. The personal becomes political, and vice versa.