Purple Hibiscus : Character Profiles - Obiora & Amaka

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Obiora & Amaka
Character Profile ­ Obiora
· "Morality, as well as the sense of taste, is relative." (p156)
There are no moral absolutes in Purple Hibiscus. Kambili loves her father though he abuses her and her faith
remains strong even when it is used as a tool for repression.
However, Obiora is encouraged to question authority which later opens Kambili's eyes.
He says that morality is determined by a more humaistic approach
Mama belives that morality is synonymous with the family; when Mama kills Papa she cannot be considered a
murderer because her situation dictates a different code of morality.
The Sister who stays with Kambili in the hospital represents the sliding scale of morality, ans she knows that
Kambili is lying, yet she doesn't speak up about it.
· When the aku come out, Obiora gos to "observe" and he states that he has "never been a child".
Obiora has been inititaed into manhood by both the Igbo ritual and the death of his father, Ifeodora.
Obiora's coming of age has been accerlerated by tragedy; he is much wiser than his years
The winged aku represnts the freedom and maturity that it can inspire
Character Profile ­ Amaka
`I guess that's because your father is a Big Man...I felt, looking at her, that I was helplessly watching
precious flaxen sand slip away between my fingers.' (p93)
Amaka is not afraid to speak her mind. She does not offer Papa the same terse respect that Kambili is
compelled to.
Though Amaka is derisive towards her, Kambili longs to be understood by her cousin.
Amaka represents an alternative version of herself ­ confident, inquisitive, and aware of her body. Kambili
wants to be like her cousin even though she does not fully comprehend her ways.
"Interesting. So now rich people can't decide what to do day by day, they need a schedule to tell
them."
Expressed in a mocking tone to suggest the cousin's contempt and detachment to Kambili and Jaja,
Indicates that Amaka can't relate to the Achike's `rich' lifestyle whilst also implying that she wouldn't want to
comply to it either.
"I disagree"
Amaka ends up rejecting her faith because it inexorably links to colonialism
The difficulty in choosing a confirmation name is indicative of her challenge to colonialism
The privileges that Kambili can afford such as, a `stereo' and a `TV', seems wondrous to Amaka but they leave
her feeling bitter about her own life.
Although she has been brought up by the liberal Ifeoma, she is close-minded when it comes to class and is
quick to judge her cousins.
Amaka wears make-up and tight clothing. She is a mystery to Kambili because womanhood is a mystery.
Amaka calls Kambili her "sister".
This signifies their bond and echoes Ifeoma's use of "my wife" when referring to Mama.
These titles connote the feelings that cannot be conveyed in simple terms
GCSE English Literature Exam Notes: Purple Hibiscus
1

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