Leaving on the floor as if to save

Leaving her father’s world, a place ruled by fear and control, Kambili steps into this new land where she is suddenly able to fight for what she wants, her beating results in the awakening of Kambili’s character as she rebels against Papa for ripping the painting of her beloved Papa Nnukwu. At the start of the scene Jaja comes into Kambili’s room to see the painting of Papa Nnukwu, as he starts to point out parts of the painting. Adichie writes “He sounded like someone in a trance, as if he had forgotten where he was and who he was (208).” Kambili and Jaja stare at the painting long enough to know that Papa will come in soon, but they keep staring at it anyway. Adichie writes “Perhaps it was what we wanted to happen, Jaja and I, without being aware of it” (208). Once Kambili says she brought it into the house, Papa takes the painting and starts tearing it up. She thinks to herself, “It already represents something lost, something I never had, would never have… I dashed to the pieces on the floor as if to save them, as if saving them would mean saving Papa-Nnukwu” (Adichie 209). She lays there next to the pieces as Papa almost beats her to the brink of her death. The only thing that comforts her as she is getting beaten by Papa is not Mama or Jaja, but the thought of Nsukka and Amaka’s music and her painting of Papa Nnukwu as she slips away into the quiet. This is an illuminating moment because she voluntarily jumps to the floor as if she is saving Papa-Nnukwu, rather than saving herself from Papa’s wrath. She stops caring about what Papa thinks and for once she focuses on what she wants. Similar to Things Fall Apart, Kambili like Okonkwo, represents the minority of the Ibo culture against the majority which is the government or Papa. Because it leads to the death of Papa by Mama and Jaja’s rebelling, this is a significant event in their lives as well. All in all, it leads to the awakening of Kambili’s character, and her learning to question Papa.