Theme Of Silence In The Familia

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One of the novel’s governing tropes is silence. The family members lower their voices in order not to disturb the father, and due to this habit they end up speaking in whispers even in his absence. Kambili, jaja, and their mother have also learned to communicate with their eyes and, as kambili believe, with their minds, and there are many things that kambili feels that she would like to say without ever having the courage to do so. Besides the silence, there is also a lot of irrelevant speech, as the family member keep “asking each other questions whose answers[they] already knew” in order to avoid “the other questions, the ones whose answers did not want to know”(23), that is, questions dealing with the situation at home. Questioning is something that neither kambili, her mother, not her brother, wants to do. There is a constant tension between the sais and the unsaid, and this has a disturbing effect on kambili: “ I said nothing. There was so much I wanted to say and so much I did not want to say”(235). The traumas of domestic violence have such a long-lasting effect on the…show more content…
While the seed of resistance against paternal tyranny has been quietly growing in all of the family members, it is kambili’s brother jaja who embodies the idea of revolt in the first chapter. Eventually, their resistance to the paternal tyranny grows to the point of the mother killing papa and jaja taking the blame for the murder. There is a clearly articulated emphasis on the anticipation of freedom and a domestic scale, and the novel is essentially concerned with whether freedom can be achieved and at what cost. Compared to jaja, who starts to question papa’s authority by refusing to do what his father tell him to, kambili’s resistance to papa’s tyranny is much less pronounced, and she is mainly represented as a fearful and submissive girl who lets her father decide what is best for

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