The Thing Around Your Neck

by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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In "The Thing Around Your Neck," The boy is an wealthy university student who pursues Akunna. He loves to travel and see the "real people" of different countries, which to him means the poor. He likes occasionally passing for African and doesn't correct waiters when they think that Akunna isn't his girlfriend. The boy is privileged and romanticizes the experiences of immigrants and of the poor in other countries.

The boy Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

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

You did not know that people could simply choose not to go to school, that people could dictate to life. You were used to accepting what life gave, writing down what life dictated.

Related Characters: Akunna, The boy
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
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The boy Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character The boy appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Thing Around Your Neck
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
At the restaurant, customers ask Akunna if she's from Jamaica. One day, a boy asks what African country she's from, and then asks if she's Yoruba or Igbo. Akunna... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The boy shows up at the restaurant for the next few days and tries to talk to... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Akunna feels that she and the boy are becoming close when she tells him that she never roots for white men on... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The boy finds an African store and drives Akunna there. The storeowner asks the boy if he's... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
At Chang's one night, the boy tells the waiter he speaks some Mandarin. The waiter asks the boy if he has... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
The boy buys Akunna gifts, and Akunna finally tells him to stop buying her things that aren't... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Akunna knows that her relationship with the boy seems abnormal to many people, but the boy's parents make everything seem normal when they... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...him a good funeral. Akunna curls up in bed and thinks of her father. The boy holds her and offers to fly them both to Nigeria. Akunna insists on going alone,... (full context)