This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Ghosts” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: “Ghosts” (2009)
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
Genre: Short story

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (b. 1977) is a Nigerian author. She has written several short stories and novels including Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Americanah (2013). Her writing has earned her various literary awards and nominations. The short story “Ghosts” first appeared in the magazine Zeotrope: All Story and was later published in Adichie's collection The Thing Around Your Neck in 2009. 


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The message of the short story is that one should not look to the past with regret or guilt, and that people should focus on what is ahead instead. This is illustrated by the contrasting manner in which James and Ikenna see the past. James feels content with the life he has now, and, although he often reflects upon the past, he prefers to focus on the present and the future. Ikenna, on the other hand, seems to be stuck in the past and seems to carry a lot of regret and guilt.

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