Americanah

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Americanah Chapter 50 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Dike has been seeing a therapist three times a week, and Ifemelu calls him every other day. One day Dike asks to visit Ifemelu, and Aunty Uju reluctantly buys him a ticket. When he arrives, Dike says “Oh my God, Coz, I’ve never seen so many black people in the same place!” Dike’s arrival coincides with Ifemelu resigning from Zoe and starting her own blog.
Dike was only a toddler when he left Nigeria, so he isn’t really coming “home” on this visit, but he is surprised to suddenly not feel like an outsider or someone inferior because of his race. As Ifemelu has stated before, race isn’t really an issue in Nigeria.
Themes
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Ifemelu’s new blog is called “The Small Redemptions of Lagos.” She interviews Priye about weddings, and Zemaye writes an anonymous piece about body language and sex. Ifemelu’s most commented-on article is one she writes about the Nigerpolitan Club. She admits that she is a member, but is critical of the attitude there of disparaging Nigeria. She also writes an article about the expensive lifestyles of some women in Lagos who live totally dependent on men.
Ifemelu now once again has the freedom to write about what she wants, and can both observe and humorously critique daily life in Lagos as a semi-outside observer. She, like Adichie, often focuses on the culture of materialistic romantic relationships.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
In the article Ifemelu references Ranyinudo without naming her, and Ranyinudo calls, upset that she will be recognized. She gets angry at Ifemelu for passing judgment on Nigerian women, when Ifemelu herself only got her green card because of a man: Curt. Ifemelu apologizes, and Ranyinudo says that she is just emotionally frustrated, and needs to find Obinze.
Ranyinudo makes a valid point about Ifemelu—that she too relied on a favor from a rich man. Ifemelu is not a dispassionate observer, and her posts start causing some trouble and making her reflect on her own past.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
When Dike visits he helps Ifemelu moderate the blog’s comments, and is amused at how personally people take the articles. Dike asks about his father, and Ifemelu vaguely talks about The General. She takes Dike to see Aunty Uju’s old house, the one The General had bought for her. Dike says that he likes Nigeria. Ifemelu wants to invite him to live with her, but she doesn’t.
Dike is used to the American culture of sensationalism, and so is amused by the Nigerian response to Ifemelu’s critical articles. Dike finds some answers about his own identity in learning more about his father and visiting his birthplace. He leaves on a hopeful note for the future.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
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After Dike flies back to America, Ranyinudo says she doesn’t understand why Dike would want to kill himself. She says that is “very foreign behavior.” This makes Ifemelu suddenly angry, and she asks if Ranyinudo has ever read Things Fall Apart. Ifemelu knows she is angry at Ranyinudo partly because she said exactly what many other Nigerians would say.
Ifemelu once again comes up against this discouraging attitude about mental disorders in the U.S. In Things Fall Apart, by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (one of Adichie’s influences), the Igbo protagonist kills himself.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon