Look at him. He is a sore sight to behold. The once promising eaglet has become something lesser than a chick. Who knew that his life could turn out this bad? Fifteen years. That is all it took. Fifteen years was all it took for life to grind Ekow in its treacherous mill of misfortune and hardship; spewing him out as a polished blend of disgrace and disappointment.
When his life blossomed over a decade ago, he SOAKED his dreams in a calabash of goodwill and hard work. Hoping that his hard work would pay off, he tilled the land of his success and irrigated it with confidence and determination as he waited for the fertile seeds of prosperity to impregnate his lands with a bumper harvest. But far from his expectations, life had something else in store for him.
Several years later, he WASHED his regrets and mistakes in a pool of hopefulness. His mistakes are his alone and nobody else’s. His mistake of believing in life and thinking his goodness and hard work would be joined together in holy matrimony; leading to the birth of his gates of success. It is his mistake for putting his faith in a god he had never seen, but believed in his heart was alive – a god he thought would fight on his behalf. But he was done feeling sorry for himself. All his mistakes and regrets, he had thrown into a pool of hopefulness.
So he DRIED his embarrassment on a line of solitude. Confining himself in the shadows; cooking up plans on how to get back on life’s better side. He abandoned his embarrassment in the scorching heat of the sun; so as to drain it of all its potency.
He IRONED what was left of his crumpled pride and set out to fertilize that which was once known as an eaglet; with the hopes of turning it into an eagle. He worked hard. He left no stone unturned and beckoned on success with his vigor. Months turned to years; and years birthed out depression.
Yesterday, he FOLDED his ambitions and dumped them in a rusted box; never to be opened again. Soon, the final product from life’s mill was there for all to see in its full glory and wretched regalia.
Today, he HANGED his shame on life’s line. He hoists it up high like a warlord’s banner. His shame has been substituted for his name….
Now, see him bending to pick up a loaf of bread from the floor. Pity! He needs help. He needs to be delivered from this torture of a life he has been living. He needs to be saved. But his misery is not one that could be managed. He needs to be plucked out of his misery. What he needs is the merciful kindness of EUTHANASIA.
Editphoto source: mybookaffair.net
TITLE: PURPLE HIBISCUS
AUTHOR: CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
PUBLISHER: ALGONQUIN BOOKS
PLACE OF PUBLICATION: CHAPEL HILL, US
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: OCTOBER 2003
NUMBER OF PAGES: 307
NAME OF REVIEWER: KOFI DZOGBEWU
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an exceptional piece of literature that evokes unexpected emotions as the reader travels with a Nigerian family from a stable life to a very unsettling one. The novel talks about how Kambili’s father, Papa, uses verbal, mental and physical abuse on his family in the name of being a devout Catholic.
The story made me feel oppressed when I was reading, but then I realized that was Adichie’s genius. She did not mention the word ‘oppression’, nor did she describe ‘pain’ in the beginning of the story, yet all the details she outlined made me feel like something was terribly wrong, not just in Kambili’s family, but in the country too.
The title of the novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ is very significant and relevant to the story. The purple hibiscus in Aunty Ifeoma’s garden represents not only the clash of cultures experienced by the characters in the novel, but likewise a hope for a better future. In contrast to the startling red hibiscuses in Enugu which symbolizes a violent past, the purple hibiscuses in Nsukka represent the future. Nigeria has gained independence from the British Empire but is challenged by new conflicts in the post-colonial era. The colour red is often associated with Achike and their home in Enugu. There we find the red hibiscuses, ‘the blood on the stairs’, and Father Benedict’s robes- all red. Red often suggests anger and passion and so is perfect in keeping with the plot. In contrast, the colour purple, as in the purple hibiscuses found in Aunty Ifeoma’s house, is often associated with feelings of calmness and solitude, which is repeatedly connected to the characters of Father Amadi, Aunty Ifeoma and other positive figures in the novel.
The framework of the novel keeps the story fresh and compelling all the way through. Purple Hibiscus for me in some ways is better than Adichie’s other novel Half of a Yellow Sun in terms of personal enjoyment and the narrative style. However, some of the themes may be too strong or heavy for young children, about twelve years old and under, depending on their social maturity and reading experience. The novel is therefore recommended for adults and young adults.
I realized that in some parts of the story, Adichie’s personal ideology influenced her writing. She made some political statements in the lines ‘these are all the people (westerners in general) who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time.’ The political statements might be lost on the reader, only because Kambili’s own personal tragedy seems much more serious, urgent and dangerous.
One problem I found with the story is that even though it is about Kambili’s account on her family’s experiences, Adichie to me made it seem like the central character was Achike, Kambili’s father; whose presence loomed menacingly over almost every page even when he wasn’t featured in the scene.
Another problem I found with the novel is the absence of a glossary. Adichie failed to include a glossary for the Igbo expressions in the story. She did a good job of placing most Igbo expressions in a comprehensive context, but the reader would be frustrated when he or she wants to find the meaning of a term; the meaning of which at best is ambiguous in the context of the expression. Take for instance, the line ‘this girl is a ripe agbogho!’ on page ninety-one of the novel.
In the unfolding of her story, she introduced the reader to the customs, foods and many aspects of Nigerian life without deviating from the subject matter. This is a unique skill in creative writing which many writers fail to achieve. Adichie creates a perfect balance of being sufficiently descriptive while never allowing the descriptions to become tedious. She describes the downfall of the family both in Enugu and in Nsukka, drawing the reader gradually towards an extraordinary tragic ending.
Purple Hibiscus is a constructively judged account of the private and intimate stirrings of a young girl faced with the challenges of tyrannical power, and Adichie voices out the subject matter creatively.
To Jennifer Lawrence, the ‘Mockingjay’ in Hunger Games
The revolution is on
With time, victory might be ours
But then what is the price of this victory?
We might win, but the victory might be shallow
Where do we draw the line and retreat?
When do we lay down our arms and surrender to the powers that be?
For how long shall we continue to watch them spill the blood
of our brothers and sisters who fight for freedom, justice and change?
What happens if we lay down our arms and surrender?
Shall I who once led the liberators now command heinous abductors?
Do the freedom fighters deserve to be imprisoned
for their crime of seeking freedom?
Indeed, we march on; fighting for what we believe in
With the mocking jay as our emblem, we mock the powers that be
With one blow we spill blood and lose blood at the same time
More ours than theirs
But like the phoenix, we shall rise from the ashes
Kotoko; wukum apem a apem b3ba
Cut one head of the hydra and two grows in its place
We are locked in a cycle of violence.
Look at me
A pitiful sight from whom everyone flees
I am the lone tree in the desert with nothing but solitude as my companion
My biography is a life behind a computer
It seems the virtual world accepts me completely
My best friends are the four vanilla colored walls of my room
I am the epitome of loneliness
My life is tagged with desolation
Forlornness know me by name
I am not alone but I am always lonely
I am the lonely loner
And like the lone wolf, I will die alone
When do I get the chance to call someone my love?
When do I also boast of a lover when others do same?
When would loneliness find another victim and leave me alone?
I need a friend to keep me company
My lonely heart keeps searching for that friend
I try never to be alone
But I strive for loneliness to leave me alone
Those I call friends are people who need favors from me
It’s such a shame I have never had a best friend
I crave to be in the company of others
But it seems I am always left behind…..
Forgive my whining, diary
I swear to you, loneliness knows me by name.
My life is plagued with sadness
Maddening depression that has sworn to drive smiles away from my face
Those that have birthed me have stolen every bit of happiness away from me
They birthed me together with forlornness; and have tasked me to stay by the side of my twin
I am an island; surrounded by things of no interest to me
I am forbidden from the things I love
My passion has been exiled
Cursed to roam the foreigner’s lands – never to return home again
I am a prisoner; locked in an eternal cage of solitude
I am chaff, blown in different directions by the wind of my masters
I will nothing of my own; and sing only songs of my masters
My life is defined by the wishes of my twin
I tell you; loneliness knows me by name
Photo Credit: independent.co.uk
An instrument of love is what you are
An epitome of romance in every clef and bar
You are black and white; your music is yea and yes
No chance for a grey area, to present to us its curse
An avenue, where every stroke radiates an ambiance of love
And every sound summons a musical being above
“I am the god of music!” exclaims Apollo
And my device of love, you all must adore and follow.
This is the excerpt for your very first post.
Hello everybody, my name is Kofi Dzogbewu, and I am a writer. I set up this blog to share my work with the world; especially all lovers of literature. I hope that you will like my writings and follow my blog passionately. Feel free to comment on the blog. You can ask me anything via email – email@example.com. Cheers