Representation of female African immigrant experience in the west: a case study of Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah
Koskei, Margaret C
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This research set out to interrogate the challenges faced by female African immigrants as reflected in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. The study also set out to compare and contrast the male and female experience of African immigrants in the West while analyzing the author’s vision on African immigrants. To achieve this, the research utilizes African feminism as a theoretical framework. Through a close reading of the text, the study reveals that the interconnectedness between race, gender and class issues pose a major challenge for female African immigrants as reflected through racism, stereotyping, economic pressure and male domination. The study further establishes that both men and women are faced with comparable experiences of the West however men choose to react to these circumstances differently. While women form a close – knit relationship, men on the other hand are antagonistic towards each other. Although Adichie projects the female experience as closely- knit and the male one as friction- filled, this in itself is not contradictory. Adichie seems to point out that the male response is as a result of pressures of immigrant status. There is an attempt by the author to present the male - female experience as complementary in nature. The research also reveals that Adichie’s vision on how female African immigrants respond to their experience in the West is crucial in order to achieve greater freedom and fulfillment from all forms of oppression. The study further establishes that Adichie envisions a world where African immigrants are not oppressed by the West on account of their colour but treated as equal beings in relation to the West. viii I recommend future research on Americanah based on other theoretical approaches such as post colonialism and psychoanalysis that may bring a deeper understanding of the immigrant narrative in the West.
University of Nairobi
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