Purple Hibiscus

Compare the differences between Mama and Aunty Ifeoma.

aunty ifeoma and mama are very different women

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Aunty Ifeoma and Mama are two very different women. Though Aunty Ifeoma grew up with Papa, she is a liberated woman who speaks her mind. Mama dismisses Ifeoma’s arguments as “university talk.” Mama has no use for logic that does not apply to her situation. Mama buys into the patriarchal paradigm. Papa is the head of the household and she is proud of his accomplishments and how they reflect on her family. Papa offers the same luxuries to Aunty Ifeoma and her children, but she refuses to submit to his will. Despite their different perspectives, Aunty Ifeoma and Mama love each other. Using a phrase common to the umunna, Aunty Ifeoma refers to Mama as “my wife,” and the women support one another. Kambili notes that her mother speaks more with Aunty Ifeoma. Both are struggling with their own hardships, but love bonds them together.