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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ Extra Information

Themes and Symbolism
Background Information

"Things fall apart" is a reference to Chinua Achebe's famous novel about the destructive effects of colonialism on a
Nigerian tribe and the down fall of its chief.

- Introduces theme of rebellion / disobedience and its consequences

Page 2

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ Extra Information


The atmosphere is tense and never relaxed because the Achike's never laughed or smile.
This is contrasted with Ifeoma's family, where there is freedom, laughter, and an encouragement for voicing
your opinions.
Mama breaks matriarchal convention because she is unable to keep…

Page 3

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ Extra Information

Father Amadi believes that faith is both simpler and more complex than what Father Benedict preaches.
He is not a moral absolutist like Papa and his God. Religion, when wielded by someone gentle, can be a
positive force, as it is in Kambili's life.…

Page 4

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ Extra Information

Kambili adds detail to the story by overhearing conversations, and when people tell her things.

Kambili's narrative and thoughts seems to be moving in the direction that she is heading e.g. when they are
heading towards Ifeoma's house, she begins by talking of Marguerite…

Page 5

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ Extra Information

Figurines- Reflects the fragility of Mama's passiveness.
When they break, the whole family is breaking apart as well.

Purple hibiscus ­ Freedom, independence
When it is planted in Enugu, it seems to imply that Jaja's rebellion is growing

Red hibiscuses ­ Pain, suffering, blood…


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