Purple Hibiscus...World Literature...Things...

9:16 AM

I didn't know this prior to attending my college World Literature class, but apparently Nigerian literature is a thing now.

Yeah. You didn't know either did you.

Anyways, I learned this because our first book (that I just finished reading) was by a Nigerian author named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It's called Purple Hibiscus. It seemed to me to be a pretty typical (in a general way) "classics" type literature, but I wanted to discuss the parts that jumped out at me with you guys. Mostly about themes and such nonsense.

Purple Hibiscus is a story about a girl who is abused by her father along with her mother and brother. It's the journey of her discovering that everything doesn't exist on her dad's whim and finding herself where she didn't know she had herself.

It was very sad, but also very deep and kind of struck a chord in me. Buuut at the same time, I didn't really like it. SO, I'm gonna go through my complicated feelings, in no particular order, that ruined my brains.

The writing style reminds me a lot of To Kill a Mockingbird, with the exception of Kambili (the main character) sounding much younger and more naive than Scout who is about ten years younger. It was amazing (in a bad way), troubling, and at times annoying.

Is it just me or does every classic have a kind of unsettling, unnatural relationship? And messed up family relationships. I'm going to try my hardest not to rant but this really bothers me. The first issue: It seems to me like every classic-type book has a relationship like this. For example, in Purple Hibiscus Kambili crushes (or falls in love as she says) HUGELY on a priest who seems to be in his twenties or early thirties at best guest. And he likes her back. KAMBILI IS FIFTEEN.

Okay. Okay. Deep breaths.

While at some point, I kind of wanted it to work because Kambili had never loved or been loved like that before...It couldn't work.

My second point: Well, obviously, the dad beats up his kids and wife like a total a-hole. But also, and this is a somewhat uncomfortable/embarrassing topic, Kambili sees her grandfather naked and even though she's embarrassed she doesn't look away. And Adichie (the author) through Kambili describes the way her grandfather looks in quite a detailed way. This is super uncomfortable for me as the reader.

It reminded me of when I read Ender's Game and was weirded out by Ender and his sister's relationship. At first, it was like "Oh, that's sweet. They're so close." and then it turned into, "This is weird. It almost seems like Ender loves her in a non-familial way."

I don't know. I guess I've just read this too often in various classic-type books and it really bothers me.

Of course, there were other things that I did like; for example, I loved the symbolism in Purple Hibiscus. It was amazing and also really interesting and fun trying to discover what Adichie meant by something she said.

The ultimate message that was given was amazing. Kambili found herself. She became her own person. And I loved being able to travel that road with her and see who she changed from and who she changed into.

In the end, no I wouldn't recommend this book to you. But I also don't regret having to read it for class. The next book on the other hand.....yeah, I might regret reading this one.

Sometime this month, I'm planning to do a good, long post on all things me now that I'm a college student. I don't feel like this should or can be a part of Freshmen Assemble since it would take up to much room. So, I will be doing that. If you have any questions you'd like for me to answer (related to me living at college) then I'd be happy to hear them. I reserve the right do not answer them though. ;) You can ask me either in the comments below or on Twitter, it doesn't matter which.

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  1. TAG!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Yay! Thanks girl <3 I'll try to do it pretty soon

  2. Ah, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie. (It's impossible to call her anything but all three names.)

    I've only read short stories by her. If I end up reading one of her full-length books, I think I"ll start withAmericanah. But honestly, I don't know that she'll be a favorite author for me . . . I had mixed feelings similar to yours. However, she IS a favorite person of mine. Have you seen her TED talk? So good.

    1. You're absolutely right! And you have no idea how proud I was when I spelled all three names the right way.

      I haven't seen her TED talk yet, but you're the second person to recommend it to me so I think I'll have to take some time to check that out pronto. :)

  3. You have a World Literature Class. I have expressed my envy with this comment.

    1. If it makes you feel better, it sounds more awesome than it actually is (according to me). ;)


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