The Thing Around Your Neck

by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The American Embassy Narrator Character Analysis

This unnamed narrator of the story "The American Embassy" is a grieving mother attempting to obtain an asylum visa from the American embassy. She's overcome with grief for her son, Ugonna, who was shot the day before by government officials looking for her husband. Ugonna gave the narrator a sense of purpose and an identity that she loved. The narrator decides that she loves Ugonna too much to use his story to get a visa, and elects to stay in Nigeria.

The American Embassy Narrator Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

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

Yes, of course. Not all of us can do it. That is the real problem with us in this country, we don't have enough brave people.

Related Characters: The man behind her (speaker), The American Embassy Narrator
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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The American Embassy Narrator Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character The American Embassy Narrator appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The American Embassy
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The embassy narrator stands outside the American embassy in Lagos. She's the 48th person in line and holds... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The man behind her taps the embassy narrator and tries to draw her attention to a soldier beating a man. She turns to... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Two days earlier, the embassy narrator buried Ugonna. The day before, she helped smuggle her husband out of the country. The... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Two days ago, three men had come to the embassy narrator ’s home looking for her husband. They put a gun to her head and asked... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The embassy narrator refuses an orange from the man behind her. Her head hurts and she thinks about... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The man behind her asks the embassy narrator if she's nervous about the visa interview. He instructs her how to nail the interview.... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The man behind her tells the embassy narrator again that asylum visas are hard to obtain. She asks him if he reads The... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The embassy narrator confirms with the man behind her that he thinks the editors are brave, and he... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...state was angry and he was going to be arrested for the last time. The embassy narrator had driven her husband to a coeditor's house and he'd made it to Benin. The... (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...in line about the need for shade and the corruption of the American embassy. The embassy narrator gives money to a couple of blind beggars and they bless her with money, a... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The embassy narrator 's interviewer asks the narrator for her story. The narrator thinks of Ugonna and looks... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The embassy narrator thinks that Ugonna gave her a new life. She thinks she wants to go home... (full context)