Americanah

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Americanah Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back at the hair salon, Aisha complains that her Igbo boyfriend won’t show up to talk to Ifemelu. Ifemelu starts feeling frustrated, until Aisha asks her about how she got her green card. Aisha describes her own hard situation in America of trying to send money back home and trying to find a husband to become a citizen. Aisha’s father had died last year, but she didn’t go home because she wouldn’t have the papers to come back. Ifemelu tries to reassure her that things will be okay.
The memories and flashbacks of the book have now caught up with the present hair salon scene, as Adichie already described how Ifemelu broke up with Blaine and decided to move back to Nigeria. Aisha is yet another immigrant facing many hardships and just struggling to get by while separated from her loved ones.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
Suddenly Aisha starts to cry, and Ifemelu promises that she will go visit her boyfriend tomorrow and talk to him about marrying Aisha. Aisha thanks Ifemelu and finishes her hair. Ifemelu wonders why she has made such a promise, but feels like it is the least she can do. She takes the train back to Princeton and then gets a call from Aunty Uju. Aunty Uju says that Dike tried to kill himself by overdosing on Tylenol. She happened to go into the basement to get meat from the freezer, and found him lying on the couch. Ifemelu says she will come tomorrow. She wonders what she was doing while Dike swallowed the pills.
Ifemelu feels a suddenly empathy and connection with Aisha, and so offers to help her even though she had disliked her moments before. This sudden crisis with Dike divides the action of the novel, as the past reconnects with the present at this horrible moment. We have had many hints of Dike’s struggles with identity and depression, but his extreme act is still surprising to both his family and the reader.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon