Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, currently a successful novelist, became a household name when Americanah was released in 2014. The book tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, a couple throughout secondary school and university in Lagos and Nsukka, Nigeria, who separate when Ifemelu goes to study in America. The book explores Ifemelu’s experience in America, where she struggles to find work, cuts off contact with Obinze after a troubling experience, and ends up being a prominent blogger on the subject of race in America. Obinze, by contrast, immigrates illegally to the UK, where he lives and works underground and has a hard time in vain to get a visa; he is ultimately deported. Obinze finds considerable monetary success and a new marital relationship in Nigeria, a few years before Ifemelu decides there is something lacking in her life and go back to Nigeria herself. Hesitantly, as Ifemelu resettles in Nigeria and discovers her place there as an adult, the 2 reunite.
Americanah gotten incredible vital recognition when it was released, ending up being a national bestseller in the United States. Starlet Lupita Nyong’o has actually optioned the film rights for Americanah since this composing in 2016; she prepares to play Ifemelu in the adaptation, which will likewise star David Oyelowo as Obinze.
The unique takes on many universal styles of the American immigrant story while concentrating on the more rarely told story of immigration from Africa. Much more unusually, Adichie’s protagonist selects to end up being a returnee to her home nation. Adichie utilizes the gadget of her protagonist’s blog site to go over many elements of blackness and race in America, vividly contrasting the African characters and their experiences to the African American and White American characters and their experiences.
Secret Aspects of Americanah
The novel’s tone is uncomplicated and somewhat severe. Significantly, despite extended flashback series to Ifemelu’s childhood and young the adult years, the flashbacks maintain the exact same major tone and have no tint of nostalgia.
The novel is embeded in the United States, Nigeria, and the UK in the years in between the 1980s and today, from Ifemelu and Obinze’s youth to their the adult years.
Point of view
Americanah is informed in 3rd person limited, moving between Ifemelu’s perspective and Obinze’s.
Ifemelu: The novel is mainly Ifemelu’s journey. As a kid, she is outspoken and confused by her mom’s blind religious dedication and her father’s intellectualism and haplessness. She becomes more centered in secondary school, when she fulfills and pertains to enjoy Obinze. After going to America, she initially feels lost and horrified about her finances, and she suffers from what is more than likely anxiety; nevertheless, after landing one pleasing job and romantic relationship and then starting to write an effective blog site, she concerns feel linked to America. It is this powerful expert identity that eventually leads to her decision to go back to Nigeria and, eventually, to Obinze.
Obinze: In secondary school, Obinze is a popular, literature- and America-obsessed trainee deeply in love with Ifemelu. In university, he wants to stay linked to both Ifemelu and his mother, therefore not leaving Nigeria when Ifemelu does; eventually, he gets out of Nigeria the only method he can, as an undocumented employee in London. Living undocumented takes a severe mental toll on him, and when he returns to Nigeria after being deported, Obinze initially feels lost, a feeling that stays even as he ends up being a Big Guy in realty via working for Chief, weds, and has a kid. It is just through his renewed contact with Ifemelu on her return to Nigeria that he feels himself again.
Aunty Uju: Aunty Uju has always been Ifemelu’s many trusted relative and confidante, but she typically makes bad choices for herself. At the beginning of the novel, she’s selected to be the secret fan of The General, a considerable gamer in a corrupt federal government; she enables herself to be entirely economically supported by him, and for that reason financially vulnerable. When she needs to transfer to America after The General’s death to safeguard her few assets and her child, she suffers for a couple of years trying to adjust to American culture. She again connects herself to a guy, this time Bartholomew, an Igbo male who Ifemelu believes Aunty Uju would not look two times at in the house, and relocates to a small and white town with him. Nevertheless, as she advances professionally, Aunty Uju ends up being more of an equal with Ifemelu, who challenges her. She becomes more worried for her son, losing perseverance with Bartholomew and relocating to a town where she feels more comfy and seting up her medical practice gladly. She meets a man who truly respects her as a fellow doctor and treats her as an equivalent. She is deeply shaken by her child’s suicide effort near completion of the unique, even as she remains devoted both to him and to her work.
Dike: Though born in Nigeria, Dike lives for the majority of his reside in the United States; after the age of five, he lives in villages that are almost specifically white. Dike is loved, and grows up with confidence in his mother’s assistance, but as he ages he feels a growing number of detached from his own identity, especially concerning race. He enjoys his mom and his cousin Ifemelu, but he doesn’t know who to be. Ifemelu thinks that it is this detach from self-understanding, from a racial community, that leads him to try suicide as a teen. His see to Ifemelu in Lagos at the end of the novel seems to change Dike– he has actually “never ever seen numerous black people in one place,” and he begins to feel the thread of his heritage.
Ranyinudo: Ranyinudo is something of a tomboyish, goofball anchor of Ifemelu’s buddy group at the beginning of the book. In adulthood she grows and settles into herself, ending up being Ifemelu’s closest buddy in Nigeria. Although a few of her behavior as an adult echoes Aunty Uju’s as a more youthful female with regards to love, Ranyinudo remains in many ways more focused than anyone else Ifemelu is close to.
Love and Connection: The underlying thread of the novel is the lost and found love in between Ifemelu and Obinze; the novel also explores each of the other substantial romantic relationships in their lives. Although Ifemelu and Obinze do take other lovers, there remains, in one kind or another, an essential disconnect in their other relationships. Ifemelu and Curt are separated by race, nationality, money, and access, in manner ins which Ifemelu is ultimately not able to overcome; although she and Blaine appear linked by race and writing, they are ultimately separated by the significance of their race in their particular social contexts and by their method to the world. Obinze and Kosi are completely separated by their belief or lack thereof in the mores of the Nigerian upper class that they occupy. The truth of Obinze and Ifemelu is that the deep sense of connection, the capability to understand each other, anchors their love.
Race, Bigotry, and Self-Concept: The center of the novel is Ifemelu’s blog, Raceteenth or Numerous Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Referred To As Negroes) by a Non-American Black. Ifemelu comes to understand herself as an individual with a race in America, and Obinze, though his experience is very different, comes to comprehend the same thing in London. In Nigeria, neither considered race; having emigrated, they discover the vulnerability of having systemic bias as a determiner of both your professional and your personal identity and understanding. The unique checks out the nuances of racial identity and how living in a racist society can put unidentified and typically unacknowledged pressures on those who are the targets of racism.
Honesty: Concerns of reality are central to Americanah. Obinze’s spirits is destroyed by the continuous need to lie in London; Blaine takes Ifemelu’s casual lies about the protest seriously enough to stop speaking to her, in a manner to rupture their relationship permanently; the questions Ifemelu and Obinze ask about being together when Obinze is still wed, and Kosi’s action, are eventually about sincerity and its significance.
National Identity and Migration: Ifemelu feels “Nigerian” enough, even after thirteen years in the US, that she needs to return home; this is despite the truth that after preliminary battles, the wealth and connections that entered into her life when she was with Curt made her migration effective and simple. Migration is a struggle for Obinze; though he desperately wishes to be somewhere aside from Nigeria, he turns down Emenike’s total assimilation into “British” identity. Both Ifemelu and Obinze have actually felt in some method that “reality lies somewhere else” than Nigeria; they require to leave their country to discover that they have a nationwide identity, that their house indicates something to them that they could not define up until they left it. It is this feeling that ultimately drives Ifemelu back home.
Professional Identity and Composing: Ifemelu finds her professional identity as a blogger; Obinze sits ill in his brand-new Big Guy life. Eventually, he utilizes writing to link to Ifemelu, but moreover to connect with himself; it remains in composing long emails to Ifemelu that Obinze is first able to articulate his experiences in the UK. Professional identity, in Americanah, is a key to comprehending oneself: Ifemelu has actually merely wandered through work, not able to be totally satisfied in her loving relationship, till she discovers blogging and realizes that what she believes and feels is substantial to others. Obinze, in some ways, remains the more lost of the two since he can not feel settled in his work. The richness of their e-mails and the method they inform stories to each other becomes part of Ifemelu and Obinze’s reconnection; the letter that Obinze composes to Ifemelu at the end of the book leads us to believe that he might have found something new about himself through composing.
The blogs: Ifemelu’s blogs represent her links to the adult years in both nations, America and Nigera. She concerns understand herself as black in America and uses her blog to explore her identity there; when she goes back to Lagos, she’s an outsider to the life of the city however handles to discover “small redemptions” in the way she lives and likes.
Religious beliefs: In Americanah, religion symbolizes an absence of questioning, starting with Ifemelu’s mother’s attitude and ending with Esther’s full-throated devotion to her pastor, also running through Kosi’s need to place on a “program” of her religious belief.
The Lovers: Ifemelu’s two American partners, Curt and Blaine, are signs of different phases of Ifemelu’s life, as embodied in her blog names for each, “The Hot White Ex” and “Professor Hunk.” In lots of ways, neither goes through a full character journey; they symbolize stops on Ifemelu’s personal journey. She becomes connected to America, American access, and American ideas of race through Curt, and she deepens her political awareness and intellectual practice through Blaine. Yet with neither male does she feel complete. Obinze’s wife Kosi is a comparable symbol: in her requirement to live according to social guidelines, she represents the falseness of the “Huge Man” life into which Obinze has stumbled.
The climax of the novel is Ifemelu’s return to Nigeria and particularly her reunion with Obinze.
The novel is divided into 7 parts of differing lengths, rotating Ifemelu’s perspective with Obinze’s and moving in between the present and numerous points in the past.