International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 278

Full Length Research Paper

(Re) writing postcolonial Bildungsroman in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

Nilima Meher
  • Nilima Meher
  • Panchayat College, Bargarh, Odisha, India.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 12 May 2014
  •  Accepted: 21 August 2014
  •  Published: 31 October 2014


The paper will explore what is Bildungsroman and its history and how this genre has been tackled distinctively by the third generation African woman novelists. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is unique in using the genre Bildungsroman. The political- historical background of the text Purple Hibiscus will be focused on as well as the development of the protagonist Kambili both physically and psychologically in each stage of the changing environment, the awakening of the protagonist about her present condition and aspiration for a better future. At the same time how her interaction with people helped her to gain her self-awareness to stand against the forefront of her father. It will also cover the development of the protagonist to identify the indigenous identity and culture when truth is unfolded before her about the religious hypocrisy of her father. It will also focus on the feeling of exile during the stay at home and the feeling of familiar environment during the stay outside the home in postcolonial Bildungsroman. She explores her feminity and begins redefining her identity as she journeys into adulthood and she also observes the development and growth, the change that has occurred in her brother Jaja. Both the characters are developing in the novel which is marked by Kambili, the protagonist who is the narrator of the novel. The final section will portray how she finally gets the maturity and independence free from the clutches of everything which comes as a barrier for her development.

Key words: Postcolonial, Bildungsroman, identity, third generation woman novelists, freedom.