THE IDENTITY PROBLEM EXPERIENCED BY THE MAIN CHARACTER IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S AMERICANAH

Dewi Sri Rahayu

 

ABSTRACT

Through Americanah, Adichie tries to expose the changing of identity formation of diasporic subject due to cultural appropriation in a new land. She tells about the difficulty experienced by immigrants in United States through the main character, Ifemelu in this novel. As a Nigerian immigrant in America, Ifemelu experiences cultural gap between her homeland and the host country. It makes her experience psychological suffering in new land. This novel is studied through the lense Homi K. Bhabha’s theory of hybridity, unhomeliness, mimicry and hybidity. In the process of getting hybridity, Ifemelu has to negotiate between the Nigerian culture and American culture, without accepting tottally American culture without leaving Nigerian culture completelly. Referring to the text, she releases much of Nigerian culture to be accepted in American society. It makes her tends to be more Americanized. This study concludes that Ifemelu finally achieves hybrid identity after appropriating American culture and maintaing some of Nigerian cultures . However, hybrid identity which is merely used as survival stratgey in the midst of host society triggers a problem on Ifemelu’s returning home, Nigeria. It leads her to be called an Americanah because she has already changed her identity. She transforms her way of thinking, ideology, persepective, and etc because of the influence of American culture. This event leads her remains becoming hybrid subject in her homeland. Therefore, as the author, Adichie criticizes the reality hybridity which does not always position diasporic subject in between identity.

Keywords: Americanah, Diaspora, Hybridity, Mimicry, Unhomeliness

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