The Thing Around Your Neck

by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Ikenna Okoro Character Analysis

In "Ghosts," Ikenna was an activist and a friend of James Nwoye at Nsukka in the 1960s. He fought for progressive issues and was extremely passionate about his work. He was, however, disappointingly unattractive. James believed that Ikenna died when the Nigerian army invaded Nsukka, but Ikenna escaped to Sweden and remained politically active in Europe. He seems somewhat tempered in his old age, but still cares about tackling government corruption.

Ikenna Okoro Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

The The Thing Around Your Neck quotes below are all either spoken by Ikenna Okoro or refer to Ikenna Okoro. 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.
Ghosts Quotes

But I am a Western-educated man, a retired mathematics professor of seventy-one, and I am supposed to have armed myself with enough science to laugh indulgently at the ways of my people.

Related Characters: Professor James Nwoye (speaker), Ikenna Okoro
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ikenna Okoro Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character Ikenna Okoro appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Ghosts
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The narrator, Professor James Nwoye, says that today he saw Ikenna Okoro, who was rumored to be dead. He says he maybe should've thrown sand at... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...men talk about their troubles. As he leaves the men to return to his car, Ikenna Okoro calls out to James. (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
James and Ikenna shake hands and hug tentatively. James explains to the reader that he and Ikenna hadn't... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
James asks Ikenna if he's alive. He tells the reader that he saw Ikenna on the day Ikenna... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Ikenna confirms that he's alive and explains that he left Biafra the month after the evacuation.... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Ikenna quickly explains that he remained politically active in support of Biafra in Europe and organized... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Ikenna asks about a poet and professor who died in the war. James confirms that he... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
James asks how life is in Sweden, and Ikenna answers that he retired the year before and has returned to Nsukka "to see." Ikenna... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...would make it so he wouldn't have to worry that his grandson doesn't speak Igbo. Ikenna asks again about James' daughter, and James shares that she's a doctor in Connecticut. (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Ikenna says that the university’s Staff Club is like an empty shell of what it once... (full context)
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Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Ikenna adds that he was just reading about "fake drugs," which James explains to the reader... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
James tells Ikenna that he's resting, and he tells the reader about the friends he visits and his... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
James asks Ikenna to come back to his house. Ikenna vaguely agrees, but James knows he won't see... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
James wonders why he never heard that Ikenna didn't die. He says that nobody ever talks about the war and its horrors. If... (full context)