The Art of narrative embedding in Chimamanda Adichie's fiction
Ojiambo, Jacqueline K
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Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah and “Jumping Monkey Hill” feature diverse forms of narrative embedding. Although embedded narratives have attracted considerable attention, narrative analysts have not accounted for new forms of embedding such as blogs. This research examines the nature and function of embedded narratives in Adichie’s selected works while evaluating the effectiveness of the embedded narratives in communicating themes. The research draws upon Russian formalism to examine how the form of the work contributes to the overall meaning of the work. It also adopts the theory of narratology which outlines the basic approach to narrative levels. A close and comparative reading of the texts reveals the nature and function of the embedded narratives and the relationship between the primary and secondary narratives. The relationship between narrative levels in Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah is complicated both by competing structural models and clashes between narrative levels. Adichie transgresses the norms of narrative embedding thus bringing into focus the assumptions that exist around it. Adichie’s deft use of embedded narratives is seen through the many functions it serves and its efficacy in developing central themes. This research adds to studies done on Adichie’s fiction by attempting a narratological inquiry. It also, hopefully, contributes to future research of structure and other narrative techniques applied in Adichie’s works.
University of Nairobi