Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Thing around your Neck
Essay: Analysis and acknowledgement
The main theme in the text ”The Thing around your Neck” must be that outstanding culture clash a lot of hope full immigrants in America are exposed to. Just from the very beginning we experience that the main character Akunna from Nigeria has very high thoughts of going to America. Her family is also very convinced that it is going to be a huge thing for her, they are expecting her to send them presents and they tell her; “In a month, you will have a big car. Soon, a big house. But don’t buy a gun like those Americans” (p. 57 l. 3-4)
And this trip she won did turn into a huge thing, - but it ...view middle of the document...
Or some who guessed that you were African asked if you knew so and so from Kenya or so and so from Zimbabwe because they thought Africa was a country where everyone knew everyone else” (p. 60 l. 16-21). So, when she finally meets a guy who actually is aware of her background and roots, she is impressed. They become a couple and Akunna loves him, but still there are a lot of things she can not get used to and which confuse her. Her relationship to this guy really shows the difference between living in Africa and America. She does simply not understand how he just can take a year of his education to travel, - because an education is a very huge and necessary privilege in Africa, that you just can not take a year of from. Akunna is also very loyal to her parents (frequently she sends them money, even though she does not earn much), so the fact that her boyfriend has a very strange relationship to his parents also confuses her. They also have very different ideas of money, which finds expression in Akunna’s negative reaction of getting presents.
Through the text we hear, with frequent intervals, about a stifling feeling Akunna gets '' a tight think around her neck. But as the story passes this “thing” looses its grip. When it almost is gone, Akunna gets a letter from her mother, in which it says that her father has died. That situation makes Akunna make the decision to leave her boyfriend and go home. That thing around her neck could symbolize how Akunna feels in America, in the start it is very suffocating and her homesickness...