Americah Adichie Analysis

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Americanah is an exceptional novel about race and identity. Adichie digs deep to inspect the racial hierarchies that are present in the United States through her main character Ifemelu. In addition to race, Adichie explores the notion of identity and how a person can hold multiple idnetites throughout their lifetime. Adichie does not shy away from scrutinizing the structures and ideologies that society has in place. Adichie uses theoretical concepts such as hegemony, discourse, and performance to illustrate that the central themes of race and identity in her novel, Americanah, are intrinsically linked.

In Americanah, while Ifemelu and Obinze are growing up in Nigeria, they are confident in who they are. However, as they both leave for America
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In other words, people will willingly sign up to their own domination because you have made them believe that it is in their own best interest to do so. Adichie does a fantastic job of illustrating hegemony throughout her novel. The best example of hegemony would be in Nigeria, where the people there, value British English over Nigerian English. They have associated prestige with British English. Although, there is nothing that makes British English more valuable or better than Nigerian English, this is how the people of Nigeria willingly sign up to their own domination. They fail to understand that either dialect of English will allow them to communicate competently. Knowing how to speak British English is not going to make an individual a competent speaker of the English language nor is it going to help people understand what you are trying to communicate. Unfortunately, the people of Nigeria fell victim to ideological domination by believing that people who speak British English ought to be respected and must be smarter than someone who does not speak British English. There is nothing inherent that makes British English better than Nigerian English. It is evident all across the globe that people hold English to a higher standard than their own native language, however, there is nothing in English that makes it better than any particular language. The world tends to…show more content…
One of the most prevalent hegemonic ideology that occurred throughout the book was the idea that British English is more valuable than Nigerian English. In the book, discourse is illustrated by Nigerian parents wanting to enrol their children in schools that teach the British curriculum rather than enrol their children in a school that teaches the Nigerian curriculum. As a result, these parents are reproducing the hegemonic ideology that British English is better than Nigerian English. It is important to realize that through these interactions people allow their own domination to take place, however, the Nigerian parents fail to understand this. They do not recognize that they are allowing their own domination to take place because they want the best for their children and rightfully so. Once their children attend the school that teaches the British curriculum, they will also reproduce these hegemonic ideologies. As seen in the previous example, race plays a major role in why these parents prefer the British curriculum over the Nigerian curriculum. The white man’s invention will always be seen as remarkable compared to the black man’s invention. Hence, race and identity work together to reproduce hegemonic
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