Akunna

Outer characterization

Akunna is the main character in the short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a 22-year- old Igbo girl, who used to live in Lagos, Nigeria, with her father, mother, and three siblings. Her name means “Father’s Wealth”. At the beginning of the story, she immigrates to America, first to Maine, 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. While in America, she begins a relationship with a white man. She returns to Lagos five months after her father’s death.

Inner characterization

Akunna is a smart, educated girl who always did well at school. She is a reader but knows little about American popular culture. Even if she cannot afford to go to state university, she looks up course requirements on the internet and reads th...

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