The Thing Around Your Neck

Denne study guide hjælper dig med analyse af novellen “The Thing Around Your Neck” (2009) af Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Du finder også et summary af teksten såvel som inspiration til at fortolke og perspektivere novellen.


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The most important metaphor in the story, which is also present in the title, is “the thing around your neck”. This is first mentioned when Akunna begins to experience her inner conflict brought on by culture shock. She feels unable to adapt to the new environment, which she finds difficult to understand (p. 118-119, ll. 20-5). She also feels isolated from her relatives back home because she cannot meet their demands. If she wrote to them, she would have to tell them that life in America is not what they expected (p. 119, ll. 6-10). “The thing around her neck” is, therefore, the pressure of all the expectations, old and new. When Akunna feels physically connected to her boyfriend, the weight of expectations and inability to adjust lets down slightly: “The thing that wrapped itself around your neck, that nearly choked you before you fell asleep, started to loosen, to let go.” (p. 125, ll. 16-17). This suggests that the relationship with a person who loves her for who she is might help her adjust to her new environment more easily and possibly resolve her inner conflict. However, her boyfriend proves unable to provide this for her.

Akunna compares her boyfriend’s eyes with the color of extra-virgin olive oil, which is also “the only thing you loved, truly loved in America” (p. 121, ll. 1-3). This shows that for Akunna, her boyfriend is the only thing she loves about the new world she finds herself in. Extra-virgin olive oil is also a more expensive and refined kind of oil. Therefore, this could also be a reference to her boyfriend’s upper-class status and privileged background. 

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The Thing Around Your Neck

  • 10-03-2021
    Givet af 3.g'er på STX
  • 10-01-2021
    Givet af 2.g'er på STX