An Ambiguous 'Freedom Song': Mind-Style in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus

Daria Tunca


This article attempts a stylistic analysis of Purple Hibiscus (2003), the first novel by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Using Roger Fowler's concept of "mind-style" and Halliday and Matthiessen's functional grammar, the essay examines the language of the book's first-person narrator, a fifteen-year-old girl whose father is a violent Catholic extremist. It is argued that the unveiling of linguistic patterns in her account leads to a deeper understanding of the concepts of freedom and tyranny in the novel. Thus, while the narrator's deceptively simple style initially conceals her prejudices, it gradually grows into a more straightforward type of language as the character liberates herself from her father's authoritarian grip.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Purple Hibiscus; freedom; language; style

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