Literature-In-English Paper 2 May/June 2015

Question 3

       Purple Hibiscus

    Examine the relationship between Eugene and his wife in the novel.


A good number of candidates attempted this question, though, some of them wrote on Eugene’s character without relating it to his wife.

The following points should be well developed by the candidates:

  • Eugene’s oppressive and aggressive relationship with his wife, Beatrice whom he appears to punish sometimes for nothing at all.
  • His beating her, which from Kambili’s brief comment is a routine.
  • Her loss of two pregnancies as a result of Eugene’s beatings.
  • Beatrices’s helplessness which is shown when she looks on as her daughter, Kambili is beaten to unconsciousness.
  • Beatrice’s poisoning of Eugene, due to his harsh treatment towards her and the children.

    Candidates’ performance in this question was good.