Beautiful dreams: Deconstructing discourses of redemption in Darko’s Beyond the Horizon (1995), Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street (2009), Adichie’s Americanah (2013) and Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers (2016)
Keywords:African descent, diaspora, female characters, home, identity, immigrants, the West
This paper entails an analysis of how in their different particularities, Amma Darko’s Beyond the Horizon, Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street; Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah and Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers explore the underbelly of notions informing the discourse of a redemptive West for Africans located at the margins of globalisation. The analysis locates Chimamanda’s Americanah and Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers within the racialised polity in the USA, in the midst of either a global economic meltdown or individual inability to access the fruits of globalisation because of the fact of race or immigration status. It also explores how choicelessness in the job market in Europe informs the radical choice of persisting at the social and economic margins of Europe despite the harsh realities and outcomes in this choice. This paper demonstrates that the questions of place at particular moments in history force a revision of initial fantasy about the notions of the redemptive West. This textual analysis is informed by the postcolonial theory, as articulated by Robert Nichols and Homi Bhabha and their postulations on identity, ‘othering’ and ‘in-between spaces’.
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