Violence in Purple Hibiscus Essay

702 Words Dec 18th, 2012 3 Pages
Domestic Violence in Purple Hibiscus

Questions for discussion:

1. What has made Papa such a violent father? 2. What kinds of things trigger his violence? 3. Why don’t his wife and children actively resist his violence earlier? 4. What do you think of Amaka’s statement “Some people can’t handle stress”? 5. Do you think Mama’s action was justified? 6. Why do you think Jaja wanted to take the blame for her crime? 7. What kind of message does the novel as a whole give us about domestic violence?

Almost all the instances of domestic violence take place in the ‘Speaking with Our Spirits’ section

Instances of domestic violence • Mama is beaten following the visit to Father Benedict’s she is
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209 • Both she and Jaja claim responsibility • Papa rips up the picture. • Kambili hugs painting as she is kicked and beaten by Papa • She wakes up in hospital with broken ribs • Given extreme unction (Catholic rite before death) • Aunty Ifeoma and Father Amadi visit and convince Eugene to let Kambili go to Nsukka


• Kambili and Jaja are taken back to Nsukka to be cared for by their aunt. P. 219 • Ifeoma speaks out at university, soldiers come to search her house p.230, her name put on a list of ‘disloyal lecturers’ p. 243-4 • Kambili and Father Amadi grow closer. Hair plaited. Talks. He tells her she “can do anything she wants” p. 239 • During this time she and Amaka grow closer – she tells her that it was Papa. P. 219, They become like sisters. Laugh and hold hands. P. 246

MAMA’S FINAL BEATING p. 247-8 • Mama arrives in Nsukka in slippers • She takes Eugene’s money • He had broken the family Bible on her belly • “My blood finished on that floor before he took me to St Agnes. My doctor said there was nothing he could do to save it.” • She was 6 weeks pregnant and had not told Eugene • Her act of coming to Nsukka - shows increased resistance on her part. • When Papa calls, Ifeoma hangs up and won’t let Mama talk to him –Mama is alarmed – so still fearful. • Beatrice continues to defend Eugene: “He is carrying more

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