An important theme of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story “The Arrangers of Marriage” is that of identity. Both the loss of identity and the wish to preserve it are important aspects of this theme.

When it comes to loss of identity, we can look at Ofodile’s character who adopts an American lifestyle in order to fit in. Some examples include him eating American food, judging immigrants for not acting American enough, or speaking only American English. He also changes his name to Dave Bell, which reflects a complete rejection of his former identity and his attempt to adopt a new, American one.

Ofodile also forces Chinaza to go through the same change of identity, not allowing her to use Igbo words and demanding to speak English even inside the house. Throughout the story, he keeps correcting Chinaza, making her use American English words instead of British English words. This includes her having to use busy instead of engaged, cookies instead of biscuits, elevator instead of lift, and pitcher instead of jug.

In Chinaza’s case, the loss of identity is reflected towards the end of the story. 

I scrubbed the kitchen floor again, cut out more coupons from the Key Food catalog (...) When my husband came home in the evening, I placed his french fries and fried chicken before him. (...

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