Concepts in Americanah

Prompt: Choose ONE concept (two, at most) from the novel concept bank below on which to write your paper. You will need to construct your own argument about the significance of that item’s role throughout the novel. Some things you might want to ask yourself are: What role does that idea/item play throughout the novel? What is Adichie’s purpose in mentioning it? What larger themes or ideas does it touch upon? Which concept interests you the most? Which one is dealt with throughout the novel in an interesting or unique way? Which one can you do the most research on? What kind of research should you perform—historical, biographical, intertextual, or theoretical?

  1. politics as they relate to the novel (e.g. Nigerian/American/or a comparison and contrast of the two countries);
  2. the novel’s historical context(s);
  3. intertextuality/popular culture—be specific (e.g. particular books/novels etc. that the narrator mentions);
  4. postcolonialism, including an exploration of the terms covered in class;
  5. sex and sexuality;
  6. gender: male vulnerability/toxic masculinity OR the role of female characters in the novel;
  7. the significance of items—such as hair, communications technology, etc.;
  8. the role that beauty plays in the novel; 9) an idea from your major field of study;
  9. or, you can synthesize any two of these concepts in your thesis

• Length: 6-8 double-spaced pages of text (not including Works Cited page). Keep in mind: quality is imperative—nine “rambling” pages are not better than six clear, fully developed pages.
• Research: *6-8 outside sources, of varying types.
*Also, at least five direct quotes from the book, Americanah, properly cited within the text of your essay.

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