Purple Hibiscus Father

1136 Words 5 Pages
Papa’s Character Towards Family Vs. the Community

In the book Purple Hibiscus By: Adichi, It tells of a girl named Kambili who learns to find her own voice in her world of turmoil and fear. Throughout the book the tone is Poignant to the reader because of Kambili’s imagery of the events in the story, and furthermore the poignant feel the characters and their distress brings to the story. This narrator has the unfortunate calamity to have Eugene Achike as a father. Eugene treats the community and his family so differently; they are almost at separate ends of the spectrum. Eugene’s character in his actions toward the community and his family show he is religious, smart, and abusive. Papa (as Kambili calls Eugene) is a very religious figure
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This contrasts to the way that he treats the community in that he physically abuses only his family, whereas his is very giving and kind towards the people not a part of his household. There are many examples of his kindness to outsiders, but there are also many examples of his brutality to his kin. When only a child, Jaja was abused and permanently disfigured by his father. Kambili remembers, “When he was ten, he missed two questions on his…test…Papa took him upstairs…came out supporting left hand with his right…Papa avoided his right hand because it is the hand he writes with (145).” This quote from the book shows that Papa consciously chose to break Jaja’s finger, not simply just in a fit of rage, but because he wanted to teach a lesson through pain. When Kambili sleeps in the same household as her grandfather, a heathen as her father calls him, her father punishes her when he pours boiling water over her feet, saying you “…burn your feet...” when you walk into sin (194-195). Kambili had to use medicine to help her recover after that, which is one sure sign of the physical abuse towards his children. Mama also has received a share of the maltreatment from her husband. There is a specific instance where Mama did not wish to go to the priest’s house because she felt sick as a result of her pregnancy, and later was beaten by her spouse so severely

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