Innocent in Death

Essay by troyamarencoJunior High, 9th gradeA-, October 2014

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Marenco, Troy 5-9-14

Class of 2016 - 10th Grade Spring Writing Prompt

During the novel Purple Hibiscus, there are figurines owned by Mama that are introduced. These figurines are proven to be extremely important to Mama when she comes to realize that Papa broke them when he was throwing the missal around with Jaja. Mama shows that these figurines are important to her through symbolism, plot, and characterization.

Symbolism is the use of something in a story that helps define what a character is like or what they believe in. The figurines used in this novel shows symbolism to Mama. She polishes these figurines almost every day, showing that they must mean something to her. Mama would spend at least a quarter of an hour to polish each one, and never rearranged them until she got her black eye. After Papa had dropped the figurines and broke them, Mama was found hugging herself near the étagère where the figurines used to lay.

Also after she found out the figurines had been broken; she would polish each shelf on the étagère so she could tell herself that they were still there. These figurines meant a lot to Mama, and this statement is shown by her actions after she found out they had been broken.

Characterization shows what the character may act as in the story. Because of the breaking of the figurines in this novel, Papa appears to be the "bad guy," or the antagonist. It makes Papa seem as though he meant to break them because maybe he did not like something Mama was doing. Kambili says in the novel, "…it was not just the figurines that came tumbling down, it was everything." (1, p. 15). This shows that what Papa did was not only hurting Mama but also...