The Thing Around Your Neck

by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The Woman Character Analysis

In "A Private Experience," the woman is an unnamed Hausa Muslim woman who sells onions in the market in Kano. She helps Chika find safety when a riot breaks out between Hausa Muslims and Igbo Christians. When Chika gets hurt, the woman cares for Chika's wound and demonstrates her generosity. She states that the riots are evil, and it seems as though riots are a regular part of her life.

The Woman Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

The The Thing Around Your Neck quotes below are all either spoken by The Woman or refer to The Woman. 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.
A Private Experience Quotes

"We have only spent a week here with our aunty, we have never even been to Kano before," Chika says, and she realizes that what she feels is this: she and her sister should not be affected by the riot. Riots like this were what she read about in newspapers. Riots like this were what happened to other people.

Related Characters: Chika (speaker), The Woman, Nnedi
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Woman Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character The Woman appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Private Experience
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Chika and an unnamed woman climb into a small store through the window. Chika is trembling and wants to thank... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Chika can tell the woman is a Hausa Muslim, and thinks that it's obvious that she herself is an Igbo... (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...had been killed and a riot was starting. Chika ran into an alley and the woman grabbed her. Chika and the woman stand quietly in the store and listen to people... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...men nearby drug the man out of his car and cut off his head. The woman invites Chika to join her in sitting on her wrapper on the ground. Chika resists,... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...a photo of Nnedi, but she'll never find her. In the present, Chika tells the woman that she and Nnedi are visiting their aunt on a school vacation. She says that... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The woman asks Chika what her aunt does, and says that Chika's aunt is also safe. Chika... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The woman asks Chika if she's seeing "sick people" yet, and Chika explains that she is. 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 woman says that her nipple burns like pepper. She removes her bra and offers her breasts... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Chika tells the woman to use cocoa butter, as the woman explains that her first daughter is lost in... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The woman finds a tap in the store and surprisingly, it runs. She washes and prays. Chika... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...the present, Chika returns to the store and crawls in through the window again. The woman remarks that Chika's leg is bleeding, wets her scarf, and wraps it around Chika's leg.... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
At dawn, the woman crawls out the window. Chika hears her speaking Hausa to someone outside, and then the... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
...as Chika walks home, she'll realize that she'll never find Nnedi. Chika turns to the woman and asks to keep the scarf. The woman agrees and they climb out the window. (full context)