Culture and Identity Crisis in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah”


  • L. Suresh, A. Mahendran, K. Kaviyarasu, M. Samundeeswari


This article examines the individual identity crisis and cultural oppression in novel Americanah (2013), which reveals the white-privileging social system in America and Britain constitute a threat to the African immigrants’ continued existence. Within the narrative, the various characters are confronted with the survival struggle occasioned by their conferred identity as blacks, irrespective of their skills and intellect. The Nigerian of migration which makes a person oscillates between two altered places. The novel describes the formative process of Ifelmu and Obinze who fall in love in Nigeria and migrate to the west, and they eventually reunite in Nigeria after fifteen long years. The novel explores the intercession of cultural identity. The Protagonist and other minor characters questions identity, sense of belonging and they try being as positive models through a negative conventional society.
Further, it explains the psychological impenetrability that confronts African immigrants in their unremitting efforts at living their unique identity in western societies characterized by ethnic binary. The word “black” here, connotes a conferred uniqueness, a specific profile, and, of course, an obnoxious space in the American social hierarchy. Coming from African countries with the outlook that a life in the West offers the chance of choices, therefore, the African colonist contest the social coordination that corners them into, adopting a new “black” identity with little thoughtfulness for their peculiarity. This paper traces mirroring of the overshadowing power of the American and British race system on the African immigrant’s identity, their trials, accomplishment, and failure under the engrossing claws of racial shortcoming.