Americanah

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Americanah Chapter 43 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ifemelu sleeps on Dike’s floor for a few days after she arrives. She can’t stop thinking about his suicide attempt, and is always on the verge of tears. Dike acts normally and they don’t discuss it. Ifemelu can’t sleep at night, thinking about what might have happened if Dike’s attempt was successful. Sometimes she blames Aunty Uju for not supporting him and listening to his experience. She points out one time Dike said “we black folk” and Uju told him “you are not black.” Then Ifemelu starts crying, and apologizes to Uju and blames herself. She wishes she had paid more attention to what lay behind all of Dike’s laughter.
Ifemelu and Aunty Uju both look back now and see all the signs that Dike had been unhappy and confused, despite his outward persona of humor and confidence. Ifemelu’s example shows how Uju still hasn’t adjusted to the racial politics of America like Ifemelu has, and his mother’s willful ignorance has added to Dike’s inner turmoil. Ifemelu renews her closeness with her cousin, including physically staying around him all the time.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Weeks pass, and Ifemelu asks Dike what he wants to do for his birthday. He jokingly suggests they go to Miami, but Ifemelu agrees and takes him and they stay at a hotel. They sit by the pool and Ifemelu assures Dike that she loves him. Dike says that Ifemelu should go on to Nigeria like she was planning to. He says he’s going to be okay. Ifemelu suggests that he could visit her, and he agrees.
In their mutual pain Dike and Ifemelu still have a close connection, and finally Dike feels comfortable enough to reference his suicide attempt and tell Ifemelu that he is okay now. This section ends Ifemelu’s time in America, and she prepares to finally go home.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon