The Thing Around Your Neck

by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chinaza Character Analysis

In "The Arrangers of Marriage," Chinaza's aunt and uncle arrange her marriage to Ofodile, a doctor in America. Their marriage is supposed to be a good thing, but Chinaza soon becomes homesick and disillusioned with her husband. She speaks Igbo to herself when Ofodile is at work, since he requires her to speak English when he's home. She misses Nigerian food and is generally unhappy in New York, though she doesn't believe she can return to Nigeria. Chinaza wants to remain connected to her Nigerian past and doesn't understand Ofodile's desire to entirely assimilate into American culture. Ofodile changes her name to Agatha Bell on her social security card.

Chinaza Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

The The Thing Around Your Neck quotes below are all either spoken by Chinaza or refer to Chinaza. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of The Thing Around Your Neck published in 2009.
The Arrangers of Marriage Quotes

They did not warn you about things like this when they arranged your marriage. No mention of offensive snoring, no mention of houses that turned out to be furniture-challenged flats.

Related Characters: Chinaza (speaker), Ofodile
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

You left your husband? Aunty Ada would shriek. Are you mad? Does one throw away a guinea fowl's egg? Do you know how many women would offer both eyes for a doctor in America? For any husband at all?

Related Characters: Chinaza (speaker), Ofodile, Nia
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chinaza Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character Chinaza appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Arrangers of Marriage
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Chinaza's husband, Ofodile, carries her suitcase up to their apartment. Chinaza tells the reader that she... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Chinaza says she's tired and Ofodile agrees. They go to bed and Chinaza curls up and... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The next morning Ofodile wakes Chinaza by lying on top of her. He pulls her nightgown up and Chinaza thinks that... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Chinaza thinks that her aunt and uncle will ask questions only to ask, not because they... (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The phone is “engaged,” and when Chinaza tells Ofodile that, he corrects her that Americans say "busy" instead of "engaged." Ofodile makes... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Ofodile's neighbor knocks at the door. Ofodile lets her in and introduces her to Chinaza. Because the neighbor is older, Chinaza uses the greeting appropriate for elders. When the neighbor... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Ofodile takes Chinaza shopping so he can show her how to shop and use the bus. At the... (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...woman speaking Spanish and says that people like her won't move forward unless they assimilate. Chinaza agrees with him, but doesn't understand. (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Ofodile takes Chinaza to the mall. He buys her pizza, and she thinks it's greasy and undercooked. She... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
On Monday, Chinaza makes coconut rice. When Ofodile comes home and she greets him in Igbo, he tells... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Chinaza meets their neighbor Nia one day when she's getting the mail. She thinks that her... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Nia offers to help Chinaza get a job at Macy's once her work permit goes through. Later, when Chinaza tells... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
When it snows for the first time, Chinaza stays home all day and watches it fall. When Ofodile comes home that night, she... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Ofodile asks why it matters, and says that Chinaza wouldn't say no to her aunt and uncle, who arranged the marriage. Chinaza asks Ofodile... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
While Ofodile showers, Chinaza packs her suitcase and goes to Nia's apartment. Nia offers to let Chinaza call home,... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Nia suggests that Chinaza give her marriage more time and asks why Chinaza always refers to Ofodile as "my... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nia tells Chinaza that she should wait, get her papers in order, and then leave Ofodile. She says... (full context)