Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (GJAHSS)

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Tragic Heroes and Unholy Alliances: A Reading of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter


Religious and Secular powers have for centuries been contentious issues that affect the lives of human beings either positively or negatively depending on human responses to them. Literature abounds with characters who have responded in various ways to the dictates of religious and secular institutions. While some characters have learnt from and achieved a better understanding of human existence in their religious and secular interactions, others have been destroyed by such adherence. Of particular interest are fanatics, religious or traditional, and what happens to them and the societies to which they belong. The interest in the consequences of fanaticism or wrong emphasis have spurred this writer into an analysis of Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Mariama Ba’s So long a Letter, from the perspective of the impact that religious and traditional values have on the individual psyche. One discovers that the two writers proffer a warning that excessive adherence, rather than enhance progress can bring about chaos and the destruction of individual psyche and societal harmony.

Keywords: Alliances, Purple Hibiscus, Tragic heroes

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