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Research Article |

A Study of Mind Style in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

While the general emphasis of literary linguistics called stylistics is on the interpretation of the writer’s style, the study of mind style involves an explication of textual meaning from the reader’s perspective. The former is more writer-based while the later is more reader-biased. Interestingly, the two find their data primarily from the writer’s deft creation of text, narrator and characters. This paper examines mind style in Chimamada Ngozi Adiche’s novel, Purple Hibiscus with particular focus on Kambili, the teenage narrator. Extracts from the novel are analyzed based on linguistic and cognitive analytical parameters of persistent lexical patterns, syntactic structures, and resonating figurative language that carve a peculiar world view which characterizes the text fictional universe. The paper demonstrates that the narrator exhibits unusual mind style which projects a striking contrast of her real self through mutational narration characterized by ellipsis, predilection for syntactical pattern that makes part of her body agent instead of herself, passivisation, first person singular pronoun plus static or still verbs, and peculiar figures of speech. Through these devices, the paper shows that the narrator’s mental state is fraught with fear, muteness, frustration and intimidation in the cognitive plane, thus foregrounding her conceptualization of the suffocating reality of her household. It concludes that analysis of mind style is productive for effective reading of fiction.

Literary Linguistics, Cognitive Psychology, Mind Style, Purple Hibiscus

Adama Suleiman, Murana Muniru Oladayo, Yusuf Ibrahim. (2023). A Study of Mind Style in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. International Journal of Literature and Arts, 11(6), 233-238.

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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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