A Long Way Home vs Purple Hibiscus: Compare & Contrast

A Long Way Home vs Purple Hibiscus: Compare & Contrast
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Family is one of the most developed themes in both readings that are A Long Way Home and Purple Hibiscus. The authors have established a family theme as the central factor that helps in developing the plot of the stories. In both readings, the narrators have undergone a family problem that troubles them on how to find joy and independence. They both struggle to understand the situation in their families and the circumstances that led them to end up living the life they have. A Long Way Home and Purple Hibiscus portray families that are negative and fraught.

Purple Hibiscus plot is mostly developed on a family level that entails dealing with family issues and their relations. Kambili family is brought out as dynamic where members live in fear, silence strict rules, and schedules. This is a negative way to develop a family since people should live with happiness, without fear or any forceful rules (Nutsukpo, 123, 2017). The family terror is based around Papa’s sporadic violence for anything that he perceives as disobedience. The family has also developed in a manner that family members are not close, and some do not know their relatives. The introduction of the Aunty Ifeoma family in the story shows clearly that the Kambili family is living a negative lifestyle.  Ifeoma and her children are able to speak their minds and laugh together.  When the two families overlap, Kambili and Jaja realize how unhealthy and rigid their family is; they realize that they lack freedom and joy among each other and in the general family. These instances portray a family that is living a negative lifestyle and family members with stress on how to find joy within their own families.

A Long Way Home tells a story of an Australian man, Saroo, who was adopted by an Indian family when he was a child. The negativity in the family is demonstrated when Saroo boarded a train together with his older brother Guddu. As a result of a misunderstanding, Saroo was left by his elder brother and, as a result ending up in the streets until he was adopted. The incident shows a family that loves love and care for each other, which is a negative factor in a family. As an adult, Saroo tries to link up with his family; he insists in his memoir that families are determined by care and love for each other rather than just sharing blood. The explanation of early family life by Saroo shows that even his father was not caring and loving to them (Brierley, 2013). As a Muslim, Saroo’s biological father married a second wife. As a result, he ended up distancing himself from his first wife’s children and the time he would turn to be abusive. Saroo and his family were living in fraught since they received negative treatment from their father. Saroo states that marriage and blood are not enough to create a family. Growing up with his father was frightening, and he did not feel safe living with his own family. The adopted family was able to give him the love, care, and safety that is he lacking in his biological family. 

In conclusion, both A Long Way Home and Purple Hibiscus are able to show that family is not merely built on blood and marriages, but the family members need to feel love and care. Kambili’s family was able to realize what they were missing in their family after living with the Aunty Ifeoma family. Saroo and his family and his family lacked happiness, kindness, respect, and love. Saroo identified the best family as the one that is based on love and care.

Work Cited:

Brierley, Saroo. Lion: A long way home. Penguin Group Australia, 2013.

Nutsukpo, Margaret Fafa. “Domestic violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.” AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities 6.3 (2017): 118-126.