Akunna is the main character in the short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a 22-year- old (p. 117, ll. 1-2) Igbo girl (p. 120, l. 1), who used to live in Lagos, Nigeria, with her father, mother, and three siblings (p. 115, ll. 6-7). Her name means “Father’s Wealth” (p. 120, ll. 3-4). At the beginning of the story, she immigrates to America, first to Maine (p. 115, l. 19), where she works as a gas station cashier and attends community college, and then to Connecticut, where she takes up a job as a waitress (p. 117, ll. 13-17). While in America, she begins a relationship with a white man. She returns to Lagos five months after her father’s death.
Akunna is a smart, educated girl who always did well at school (p. 118, l. 10). She is a reader (p. 126, l. 4-6) but knows little about American popular culture (p. 120, ll. 31-32). Even if she cannot afford to go to state university, sh...