Purple Hibiscus : Character Profiles - Aunty Ifeoma

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Aunty Ifeoma
Character Profile ­ Aunty Ifeoma
Mama speaks more with Ifeoma, which indicates that Ifeoma has an aura of freedom surrounding her, which makes it
easier to talk around her.
"My wife"- the referral to Mama as her wife expresses that the two women support one another. Both are
struggling with their own hardships but love bonds them together.
Obiora's punishment of a "slap" can be contrasted with the torture inflicted upon Jaja and Kambili, "feet burned".
She shows that there is a difference between discipline and cruelty
"I wanted to reach out and press her lips shut and get some of that shiny bronze lipstick on my fingers"
Kambili wants to take away a bit of Ifeoma's confidence in speaking; she wants to be like her.
'This cannot go on, nwunye m,' Aunty Ifeoma said. `When a house is on fire, you run out before the roof
collapses on your head.' (p213)
Aunty Ifeoma does not understand that the Achike family has been living in a burning house for a long time.
But this time, Mama listens to Aunty Ifeoma's plainspoken advice and doesn't cast it off as `university talk'.
'Kambili is right,' she said. `Something from God was happening there.' (p275)
Kambili is like a new girl. She is confident and happy, blossoming in the attention of her aunt's family and also
Father Amadi.
Her coming of age, complete with first crush, has been a gift from God.
Even though she didn't see the apparition, Aunty Ifeoma saw new life in her niece.
Ifeoma "started to laugh so hard that she staggered" when Jaja presents her with his schedule.
Depicts a sense of shock and unfamiliarity when encountering their dictatorial childhood.
`Irritation that made her lower her eyebrows'
The auntie's disapproval of Kambili and Jaja's oppressive nurturing is implied.
This conveys a rather negative image and gives the reader the impression that the aunty is judgmental,
critical and quite concerned about Eugene's stern control on the children.
Ifeoma is used as a contrast to Papa to show that Catholicism does not have to be harsh, judgmental and joyless.
She is used as a contrast with Mama to show that women can be independent
Presented by Adichie
She is used as the voice of common sense and decency e.g. she advices Mama to get out of the "burning house".
She typifies the many Nigerians who wanted to find a better life in America
GCSE English Literature Exam Notes: Purple Hibiscus


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