Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The thing around your neck

I am now going to present another shot-story from the book “The thing around your neck” This time I am actually going to write about the short-story “The thing around your neck”. This short-story is about an African girl who is more or less forced to go to America, and live with her uncle. In her country, all people think that you receive everything you have ever wanted. They think of America like “the American dream”. The main character quicly understands that America is nothing like she thought it would be like. Moreover her uncle gives her a hard time, therefore she moves away from him. I will now start with quoting a paragraph from the book, where her relationship with her uncle is reflected.

“ You laughed with your uncle and you felt at home at his house; his wife called you nwanne, sister, and his two school-age children called you Aunty. They spoke Igbo and ate garri for lunch and it was like home. Until your uncle came into the cramped basement where you slept with old boxers and cartons and pulled you forcefully to him, squeezing your buttocks, moaning. He wasn’t really your uncle; he was actually a brother of your father’s sister’s husband, not related by blood. After you pushed him away, he sat on your bed- it was his house, after all- and smiled and said you were no longer a child at twenty-two. If you let him, he would do many things for you. Smart women did it all the time. How did you think those women back home in Lagos with their well-paying jobs made it? Even women in New York City?

You could imagine your-self how horrible it must have been for the girl to live with her “uncle”. Firstly she is in a New country, where she does not know anybody. Secondly she does not have money to live by her-self. This paragraph is important to the short-story because it really shows that the girl is lost and alone, and that she has to make some changes if she is going to manage to stay.

Lagos, the city the main character comes from
The short story is called “The thing around your neck”, there are perhaps many reasons why it is called that. However I am now going to tell about my opinion why it is called that. In the whole story the girl feels like she has something around her neck. Something that chokes her, it is a metaphor of something that is slowly bringing her down. She cannot “live” when she has this thing around her neck. When I say she cannot “live” I mean it like she can’t be happy and be herself. The only thing she is doing in America is to work to stay alive. Therefor this “thing” around her neck suffocates her, and kills her joy of life.

The second paragraph I am going to present you can see how the main character has developed during the story.

“The thing that wrapped itself around your neck, that nearly chocked you before you fell asleep, started to loosen, to let go.”

Even though you see in the previous paragraph that the situation is getting better, it never turns out to be great. She still misses her family, and the culture in Africa a lot. In the end of the story she returns to her home country. Maybe the thing around her neck lets go of her finally, at that moment?    

1 comment:

  1. Great comment about the title. I agree with you, it is starting to look better, but not perfect. living in a foreign country is not easy.