Style of language
The short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is written in a neutral style. The narrative uses contractions, and the tone is casual and conversational, creating the impression of a dialogue or a confession. For instance, “You didn’t mind, though, because now you would be able to cook onugbu soup with meat” (p. 123, ll. 14-16). The use of the second-person point of view and the conversational style of language contribute to immerse the reader in the story.
The dialogue is mostly conveyed through indirect speech, for instance: “They asked where you learned to speak English and if you had real houses back in Africa” (p. 116, ll. 13-15). Occasionally direct speech is used, mostly to illustrate a point. For instance: “Does it stand up or fall down when you take out the braids? They wanted to know. All of it stands up? How? Why? Do you use a comb?” (p. 117, ll. 16-18). The direct speech, in this case, is used to highlight the large number of intrusive questions and how much they annoy Akunna.
The narrative also contains several words in Igbo, which give local color to the story. For instance, “onugbu soup” (p. 123, l. 14) and “garri” (p. 123, l. 14), which describe African dishes. Onugbu means “bitter leaf” which is one of...