Americanah: Relationship Status

The topic discussed during Tuesday’s lecture about impactful relationships was also relevant to this week’s reading. When lfemelu returns to Nigeria she encounters a stark contrast to her own relationships in America. The most drastic difference being the relationship between the male and female role. Ifemelu recognizes the submissive roles women in Nigeria feel comfortable playing out of necessity for survival and an acceptance in society. Her friend Ranyinudu, talks openly to Ifemelu about her finding  a rich man who wants her to be “sweet” all the time, aka allow him to control her. Similarly, Obinze’s wife Kosi would rather stay in a relationship with Obinze, despite him sleeping with Ifemelu, then risk ruining her family and marriage.  Kosi even goes as far to beg for Obinze to stay with her, physically getting down on her knees. In comparison to Ifemelu’s relationship in America, I believe being an “Americanah” gave her a voice and an ability to speak up and take action with her significant others. Although things did not work out between Curt and Blaine, she was never forced out of fear to remain with them. While Ifemelu ultimately decides to return to Nigeria because of the hardships she encountered in America, Adiche compares the two country’s relationship status in a way that favors America. It is still important to consider the pros and cons of both Nigeria and America while reading this novel, possibly to highlight where change must occur in both countries.

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