Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




R. Benedito Ferrao

Committee Members

Hermine Pinson

Chima Osakwe

Chinua Thelwell


“Afro-Diasporic (Dis)Illusionment: Perceptions of the American Dream in Americanah and Behold the Dreamers” evaluates two novels of post-9/11 African migration literature to document African (im)migrants’ changing perceptions of the American Dream. Though the American Dream is largely associated with early twentieth century literature, it remains a prevailing myth even today. The American Dream particularly compels immigrants to come pursue the opportunities offered in America as the promised land of meritocracy. Both novels—Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue—center the experience of racialized immigrants as they enter the US in a post-9/11 era to render the American Dream a myth. Adichie and Mbue criticize the inaccessibility of the Dream to question its inherent aspirational value, not only for the immigrants in these novels, but for Americans more generally.

On-Campus Access Only