Americanah – Chapters 38-41 Summary & Analysis

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah

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Americanah – Chapters 38-41 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 38 Summary: 

Ifemelu rents out her condo in Baltimore and moves in with Blaine. While living in New Haven, she meets Boubacar, another professor at Yale, who is originally from Senegal. He and Ifemelu bond over their African upbringings, and Ifemelu is happy to know someone who “spoke the same silent language she did” (421). Boubacar informs her of a humanities fellowship at Princeton University. Ifemelu is hesitant, but he urges her to apply for it, saying the committee wants people who are “pushing boundaries” (421). One day, she visits Boubacar’s class, noting that most of the students are browsing the internet rather than listening to the lecture. Boubacar invites her to a going away party for a colleague. She gets a text from Blaine, informing her that something has happened to Mr. White, the library security guard.

She and Blaine meet up, and he explains that Mr. White was taken away by the police after a white employee saw him exchange something with another black man and assumed he was dealing drugs. He was released and is now back at work, but Blaine is incensed. He quickly arranges a student/faculty response to the racist incident, planning a protest outside the library later that day. Ifemelu agrees to meet him there, but goes to the going away party instead. She tells Blaine she took a nap and overslept, but he quickly discovers her lie. He is devastated, and “for a moment she hated him, this man who ate her apple cores and turned even that into something of a moral act” (427). Blaine accuses her of treating her blog like a game; “she was not sufficiently furious because she was African, not African American” (428). Blaine does not speak to her for three days, at which point she packs a bag and leaves. 

Chapter 39 Summary: 

Ifemelu goes to stay with Dike and Aunty Uju. Uju tells her that Dike has been accused of hacking the school’s computer system, something he insists he doesn’t know how to do. Dike is not surprised by the allegation: “‘You have to…

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