Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (b. 1977)
"Checking Out" (2013)
Things to Consider:
- "Different Versions of Ourselves"and Disguised Identities
- Historical Context
- Describe the origin and significance of the title.
- Identify an example from the text of disguised identity.
- Explain Obinze's thinking as he watches the people at the
tube station. Why does he view them the way he does?
- Explain what Adichie means by "the growing urgency of
restrained desire" (1579).
- Explain: "She would never flaunt her power over him"
- Why is Obinze unable to secure a visa to study in America?
- Explain: "He was too close to what she was; he knew her
nuances, while with the Polish woman she was free to reinvent
herself, to be whoever she wanted to be" (1582).
- What is the "ritual of hospitality"? Why does it make
- Describe Roy Snell's treatment of Obinze.
- Explain the final paragraph. To what degree has Obinze
Other Discussion Questions:
- What is the basic argument of "We Should All Be
- Explain the different types of immigration Adichie invokes.
- Describe the Angolans. Why are they not named?
- Describe Cleotilde.
- Why is it significant the Cleotilde may be attracted to
Obinze? (See also 1588).
- How much does it matter to Cleo that she has never been to
- Explain the importance of the italicized word within the
context of this quote: "The memory, clear as a beam of light,
took Obinze back to a time when he still believed the
universe would bend according to his will" (1580--emphasis
- Why does Obinze's mother lie to get him a visa? Why is her
dishonesty so significant?
- Does Obinze like Iloba? Explain.
- Explain what the narrator says about Obinze's thoughts
regarding Victor's "Nigerian life" and Victor's perceived view
- Why do Roy and Nigel believe Obinze knows how to talk to
women? Is this belief complimentary? Explain.
- Why is it important that Obinze's co-workers have bought
soda and muffins for the party "with their own money" (1587)?
- What particularly upsets Obinze about being turned in by
- What is "the dull echo of an aftermath" (1589)?