An analysis of the short story “My Mother, the Crazy African” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shows that the text has a chronological structure. The action takes place over an undetermined time and follows Lin and her family as they experience life in America after moving from Nigeria.
The main characters are Lin and her mother. While Lin is ashamed of her Nigerian heritage and tries to pretend she is American, her mother is a traditional woman who ridicules America and tries to preserve Nigerian customs.
The physical setting is Philadelphia, US, where Lin’s family has relocated from Nigeria. Almost all the places that Lin describes illustrate her desire to hide her ancestry and appear as an American.The story’s social setting deals with issues such as challenges faced by immigrants, cultural differences, a clash between American and Nigerian values, and discrimination.
The events are told by a first-person narrator, Lin, who is also one of the story’s main characters. The insight into the narrator’s thoughts and feelings helps readers understand why she wants to be seen as American and why she rejects her Nigerian heritage.
The language plays an important part in the story, as it illustrates Lin’s desire to be a typical American teenager, and the clash between the American and the African culture. Lin’s refusal to speak Igbo, as well as her persistence in getting rid of her Nigerian accent, show that she rejects her linguistic heritage.
A full analysis of the short story can be found on the following pages.