Structure

The short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins in medias res with Akunna’s relatives visiting her before she leaves for America and telling her what presents they would like from abroad. The story has a circular structure. In the beginning, Akunna leaves for America, and at the end, she returns to Nigeria. 

The events are told in chronological order, with the exception of a flashback, when Akunna recounts to her boyfriend a car accident which happened in Lagos. The flashback highlights the differences between Akunna and her boyfriend and becomes the starting point of the conflict between them.

There are a few elements of foreshadowing in the story. The expectations at the beginning of the story about life in America turn out t...

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