The Arrangers of Marriage

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Arrangers of Marriage”  (2009) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (b. 1977) is a Nigerian writer and activist. Her works deal with identity, culture, racial issues, and feminism. She is also known for her speeches such as “We should all be feminists” (2013) and “The danger of a single story” (2009) in which she highlights social problems applying them to her experience as a woman and writer. Her novels include Americanah (2013), which centers around being a black woman in America, Purple Hibiscus (2003), and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006).

Extract

Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Symbols

The “Good housekeeping all-American cookbook” is a symbol of Ofodile’s assimilation of the American culture. It highlights his loss of identity but also how he enforces a change upon his wife as well. It shows his opinion that immigrants should stop taking part in activities that are from their own culture and should conform to the American customs.

The apartment is a symbol of Chinaza’s failed expectations. Chinaza imagined Ofodile lived in a “house like those of the white newlyweds in the American films that NTA showed on Saturday nights”. Instead, she discovers he lives in a small, “furniture-challenged” apartment. Therefore, we can say that the apartment reflects Chinaza’s disappointment in her new life, which is quite different from what she expected.

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The Arrangers of Marriage

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