Purple Hibiscus Essay

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The Significance of the Purple Hibiscus as a Symbol The wise Thomas Jefferson once said: “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” In Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie uses the purple hibiscus to reiterate the main theme, defiance vs. silence and conformity. The author’s use of multiple examples of similes and metaphors help the reader understand the theme and primary conflict in the story. Adichie develops an ongoing theme of defiance vs. silence and conformity in the novel Purple Hibiscus. Specifically, her comparisons of Jaja and the purple hibiscus, Papa Eugene and The Standard,…show more content…
It will show whether one is defiant or not. After Kambili witnesses the aftermath of Jaja’s defiance she says, “Jaja’s defiance seemed like Aunty Ifeoma’s experimental purple hibiscus: rare, fragrant with the undertones of freedom, a different kind of freedom from the one the crowds waving green leaves chanted Government Square after the coup. A freedom to be, to do” (Adichie 16). The description of Jaja’s defiance sets the overall theme and concept of the book. Adichie is comparing the rareness of defiance in their country and family to Jaja’s actions, which was skipping communion. This shows that Jaja is not afraid to express his views and that he has a rebellious mindset and outlook on life. He does as he pleases and worries about the reprocutions later. The simile of Jaja’s defiance and the purple hibiscus reveal the struggle of the family for freedom and reveal the beginning of the end. This struggle between silence and conformity vs. defiance shows how and why Jaja and some of the other characters act how they act. Whether that is rebellious and defiant like Jaja or timid and silent like

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