Americanah Short Essay - Answer Key

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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1. Describe the narrative point of view in Americanah. From what perspective is the story related?

Americanah is written entirely in the third person point of view. The narrator is both reliable and omniscient. This does not change even when the book shifts focus from present to past and from Ifemelu to Obinze. The narrator reveals the actions and thoughts of the characters throughout the book.

2. How are Ifemelu's perceptions of Princeton, New Jersey, described in Chapter 1?

Ifemelu likes Princeton and describes it as smelling like "nothing." Whereas each city in the Northeast is described as having a particular smell, Princeton's smell reflects nothing to Ifemelu. She enjoys the aristocratic atmosphere here and regrets that she has to go to Trenton to find an African hair braiding salon.

3. How would you describe Ifemelu's character when she is first introduced? What are her circumstances?

Ifemelu is a Nigerian woman who has relocated to America where she has become a successful blogger and has completed a fellowship at Princeton. Ifemelu likes her life in America and feels a sense of satisfaction at what she has accomplished there. Despite this, she plans to return to her home country soon.

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