Abigail Obiageli Eruaga (PhD)


Serenity signifies a state of peace and calmness. It is an abstract phenomenon that is guaranteed by neither affluence nor influence, but by deliberately disconnecting oneself from toxicity. Serenity can be attained at some cost which can be simple or complex. Some human beings suffer psychological and physical harms by what they condone but, at some point, they may review their position in order to have their peace of mind. Nigeria’s Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus (2006)and South Africa’s Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying (1995, henceforth Ways and Purple respectively), provide us with literary characters who alter their unpleasant positions by settling for their passions. Through the pursuit of their passions, they are able to rise above their pain and turbulence and achieve serenity. While Adichie’s Beatrice/Mama attains serenity through artistic hobby and spiritual communion, Mda’s Noria and Toloki achieve It through rendering benevolent services to traumatised citizens. Though these characters elect different means of achieving serenity they are united in their pernicious situations and in their resolve to prevail through non-violent means. Consequently, they are able to secure serenity and restore their lost humanities. This essay which is comparative in nature, argues that though these characters receive brutal and dehumanising treatments, they are able to conquer by resorting to their passions, a situation that ushers peace to their traumatised psyches. It concludes by noting that the authors favour action rather than passivity in the face of violence and toxicity.


Serenity, passion, traumatised, victims, toxicity

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