the role of women;and thier position in the novel.
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Women were routinely abused. There is an underlying sexism at work in the abuse. When Mama tells Kambili she is pregnant, she mentions that she miscarried several times after Kambili was born. Within the narrative of the novel, Mama loses two pregnancies at Papa’s hands. The other miscarriages may have been caused by these beatings as well. When she miscarries, Papa makes the children say special novenas for their mother’s forgiveness. Even though he is to blame, he insinuates it is Mama’s fault. Mama believes that she cannot exist outside of her marriage. She dismisses Aunty Ifeoma’s ideas that life begins after marriage as “university talk.” Mama has not been liberated and withstands the abuse because she believes it is just. Ultimately, she poisons Papa because she can see no other way out. The abuse has repressed her to the point that she must resort to murder to escape.