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Americanah, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 7

Summary 8

Characters 10

Ifemelu 10

Obinze Maduewesi 10

Aunty Uju 10

Dike 10

Ifemelu’s Mother 10

Ifemelu’s Father 10

Obinze’s Mother 11

Ginika 11

Blaine 11

Curt 11

Kosi 11

Buchi 11

Kimberly 11

Ranyinudo 11

Aisha 11

Shan 11

Chief 11

Nneoma 11

The General 11

Sister Ibinabo 12

Kayode 12

Emenike 12

Odein 12

Mariama 12

Halima 12

Marlon & Jane 12

Bartholomew 12

Elena 12

Cristina Tomas 12

Wambui 12

Mwombeki 12

The Tennis Coach 12

Laura 12

Don 12

Taylor 12

Morgan 13

Kelsey 13

Abe 13

Curt’s Mother 13

Barack Obama 13

Michelle Obama 13

The Angolans 13

Cleotilde 13

Nicholas 13

Ojiugo 13

Nosa 13

Iloba 13

Vincent Obi 13

Roy Snell 13

Nigel 13

Georgina 14

Araminta 14

Paula 14

Boubacar 14

Mr. White 14

Jonathon and Isioma 14

Don 14

Aunty Onenu 14

Priye 14

Zemaye 14

Doris 14

Esther 14

Fred 14

Edusco 14

Okwudiba 14

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols 15

Themes 15

Race and Racism 15

Identity 15

Romantic Love 16

Separation vs Connection 16

Cultural Criticism 17

Motifs 17

Huckleberry Finn and Other Books Suggested by Men 17

Symbols 18

Hair 18

Chinese Food 18

Magazines 18

Dike 19

Important Quotations Explained 20

1. 20

2. 20

3. 20

4. 20

5. 21

6. 21

7. 21

8. 21

9. 22

10. 22

Sample Answers 23

The first part of Ifemelu’s story is told in flashback while she has her hair braided at a salon before she returns to Nigeria. Why might Adichie have chosen this structure for storytelling? 23

Why does Ifemelu decide to go back to Nigeria after 13 years? 23

Ifemelu feels that Aunty Uju is too eager to capitulate to the demands of fitting in. Uju says, “You are in a country that is not your own. You do what you have to do if you want to succeed” (120). Is Aunty Uju right in compromising her own identity to a certain extent? How is Dike affected by his mother’s struggles? 23

For a time, Ifemelu is a babysitter for Kimberly, a white woman who donates to a charity in Africa. Adichie writes that “for a moment Ifemelu was sorry to have come from Africa, to be the reason that this beautiful woman,...

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