Hey guys! One of my classmates (okay, a lot of my classmates) commented about how hard it is to analyze the whole of Americanah in one go. They said that not only was it too long, it was too rich. How could one put a finger to what exactly Americanah is about?
But like Ifemulu in Americanah says: ‘Why [do] people ask “What is it about?” as if a novel had to be about only one thing.’
Americanah is thick for a reason, and it is as complex as the human body when you get down to ‘what is it about?’. We have its skeleton, Ifemulu and Obinze’s love story; we have its brain, all the tough things about the West and how both Ifemulu and Obinze discover the faults in their stars; we have its eyes, nose, and ears which deliciously describe the worlds they live in, and we have its heart…how each of these body parts breathe and live within one another, how all of them unify together to create the story’s tone, rhythm, and greatest theme.
That being said, to properly analyze even the story of Americanah is going to take a lot of work. But in this case, we’re not going to start off with our frogs. We’re starting with Ifemulu and Obinze’s love story aka the skeleton of the story, and building up the others from there.
But, instead of boring you to death with a long, unabridged summary of their story, I’m going to ask you to listen to love songs relating to parts of their relationship.
Say wha? Why would I ask something so silly?
For one, love songs contain a lot of info about a particular aspect of a relationship and describe it in five minutes or less and there was too much information spreading over a few chapters to accurately tell a part of Ifemulu and Obinze’s love story without writing a thesis long statement about it.
Hmm…love story, love songs, analysis, I think this could work, especially for the fan girls out ther! This month I will be posting general summaries of chunks of Americanah with the aid of some lovey-dovey songs about relationships. Hope you enjoy!