DYADIC REPRESENTATION OF MYTHIC STRUCTURES IN CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S AMERICANAH

DYADIC REPRESENTATION OF MYTHIC STRUCTURES IN CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S AMERICANAH

ABSTRACT

This study isolates myth as one of the structural principles of literature. The mythic structures are perceived in dyadic figuration: the quest myth and the myth of the year god. The four characters chosen from Adichie’s Americanah are Ifemelu, Obinze, Aunty Uju and Bartholomew. While Ifemelu and Obinze are perceived with the quest myth; Aunty Uju is silhouetted with Bartholomew in line with the myth of the year god. The archetypal criticism approach to the analysis of the characters in this study reveals that each character responds to a kind of cosmic phenomenon which has the capacity to produce in the observer flashes of instantaneous comprehensions. In Ifemelu, the observer is struck with the image of Aphrodite Pandemos; to Obinze, it is an unquenchable taste like that of Tantalus; and Aunty Uju is observed under the influence of the Fortune god. The manifestations of the dyadic myth explored in this project and the production of these flashes of insights clearly demonstrate the autonomy of Adichie’s world, while revealing, at the same time, primal categories of thoughts, beliefs, behavioural patterns and practices which exist and predate even the period of the gods. These patterns and images are older than mankind, and they have been there from prehistoric times. The socio-cultural exigencies that have prompted the writing of this novel; the embodiment in it of trans-cultural forms is an eloquent expression of the common humanity of all people. Therefore, the success of Adichie’s narrative oeuvre lies largely in its regional socio-cultural attestation and in its appeal to the world estate of literature.