Americanah

Americanah Chapter 53 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the following weeks Ifemelu starts to live out a series of clichés, as she feels herself falling in love again and feeling all the heady romantic emotions of a teenager, except seemingly even stronger. Obinze tells her “you are the great love of my life,” and she believes him, but she still can’t help being jealous of every woman he ever liked or whoever liked him. She is suddenly aware of all the “hungry” women of Lagos (like Zemaye) looking to snatch up a rich, good-looking man like Obinze.
In these final chapters Adichie focuses on Ifemelu and Obinze as they rekindle their romance despite all the complications and divides between them. Their love is pure and strong, and they find themselves totally smitten right away. They have all the passion of their teenage romance, but now the maturity and experience of many years to add to it.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
Cultural Criticism Theme Icon
For a long time neither one mentions Kosi, until one day Obinze says he wants to cook, as he isn’t allowed at home. Suddenly his marriage seems very real and present, and he explains that Kosi has very traditional ideas about marriage, so she doesn’t like her husband to cook. Obinze tells Ifemelu that there’s a lot of pretending in his marriage, and that he married Kosi during a time of personal upheaval. Ifemelu is suddenly upset, and she asks Obinze to leave.
Just as when Ifemelu was talking about cheating, so Obinze talking about Kosi and his unsatisfying marriage somehow seems to cheapen the love between Ifemelu and Obinze, and it upsets them both. Ifemelu tries to lash out in her pain, as she is used to.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon
They both start to cry, and then they hold each other and have sex. Obinze invites Ifemelu to come with him to Abuja, a town in central Nigeria, that Friday. Ifemelu says yes. The next day, however, he texts her and says that he should go alone to think. Ifemelu texts him and says “fucking coward.” Obinze comes to her apartment to apologize, but she is angered by the vagueness of his words, as she knows he knows how to communicate clearly. She tells him to “go to hell,” and watches as he drives off.
After their idyllic new romance, Obinze and Ifemelu are separated once again. This time it isn’t be distance or depression, but by Obinze’s hesitation and Ifemelu’s pride. They both know that Obinze is being halfhearted about dealing with his other life, and Ifemelu demands total straightforwardness and truth.
Themes
Identity Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Separation vs. Connection Theme Icon