"THE THING AROUND YOUR NECK" CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE (Metaphor …
"THE THING AROUND YOUR NECK"
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
...live with him until you
got on your feet
That is, until you earn your own living
"...America was give-and-take."
That is, America is a country in which to get something, you need to give something back.
…you hugged him tight for a long, long moment and then
you let go
- a metaphor for her not coming back to him
His presents mystified you
- the author uses this metaphor to show the amazement and confusion of the main character
where he went to gawk at the lives of poor people
– the author uses it in negative meaning because for the man it was interesting to see only poor people but not country Nigeria. And he was interested them not for the best of reasons
Juan teasing you about taking over from the chef so that
the heat in the kitchen would warm you up
– a metaphor for his attention to her, that he will help and care for her
would wrap itself around your neck,
that very nearly choked you before you fell asleep.
"Something" is rejection, that you are a stranger in a strange country
" Sometimes you
The author wants to show how immigrants felt in America.
The Big Man
– a metaphor that shows that people in America are important people and such people from Africa are not worthy of the life they live. They should kiss their feet.
he was just like the pigs that wallowed in the marshes around the market
– the author compares Africans with animals that are fattened and given for meat, they are dirty and untidy
The car your father rammed into was wide, foreign, and dark green, with golden headlights
like the eyes of a leopard
– the author shows the machine as something wild and dangerous. Machine for foreigners, too, most that and leopard.
But don’t buy a gun
like those Americans.
pleading was like pornography
– the author shows that for such a big man, pleading is something vile and unpleasant
"You wanted to write about the rich people who wore shabby clothes and tattered sneakers, who looked
like the night watchmen in front of the large compounds in Lagos
Americans are hoarding huge sums of money and spare money even on themselves and their families.
…how they portioned out love like a birthday cake
– in the American world, life was not as simple as it seems, parents give their child only a part of love, because for them there are more important things, such as prestige and work. It is comparable to a birthday cake, the same desired and rare
Examine you like an exotic trophy, an ivory tusk
– the author compares her as something unusual and strange, wild for modern Americans, she is like an animal in a circus
You wanted to write about the way people left so much food on their plates and crumpled a few dollar bills down,
as though it was an offering expiation for the wasted food
The narrator compares the tip to
"an offering expiation"
because it was wild for her not to eat the portion
...you will have a
car. Soon, a
...leaning against the
walls because there weren’t enough chairs to go round...
With these epithets, the author wanted to compare life in Africa and life in America. the poor and the rich.
...your uncle came into the
basement where you slept with
boxes and cartons...
With the help these epithets we can understand, that althought she lived with your uncle and aunt, she was like a stranger in this house.
"...you paid rent for the
"...you sat on the
mattress of your
These are all the comforts an immigrant can afford in America.
"You wanted to write about the
people who wore
sneakers, who looked like the night watchmen in front of the large compounds in Lagos."
Americans are very afraid for their money, afraid to spend an extra penny.
..."they thought that
every black person
with a foreign accent was Jamaican.
Stereotypical thinking about African Americans
everybody in America had a car and a gun
:..." The author wanted to show us how usual American looks like
n your life presents were always useful
- this irony is used to show that the main character doesn't need in presents and presents are only presents, they are not useful.