The Thing Around Your Neck Short Story Analysis

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The American Dream is often known to be a great thing, giving new lives and jobs to immigrants, but are their lives really better in The United States? Chimamanda Adichie reveals how The American Dream is not what it seems to be in “The Thing Around Your Neck.” Her short story follows the life of Akunna as she deals with all of the hardships like stereotypes, racism, and the struggles of finding a comfortable life that come from moving to the United States. From all of these hardships, the reader thinks about whether The American Dream is still relevant, and about if The American Dream still takes place today. Through the characterization of Akunna’s boyfriend as an inconsiderate person on the inside and the symbolism of the fortune cookies, Adichie implies that The American Dream is an illusion and lie towards people coming in from other countries. First off, Akunna receives two blank fortune cookies while eating with her boyfriend for the first time, right after they got together: “The next day, he took you to dinner at Chang’s and your fortune cookie had two strips of paper. Both of them were blank” (Adichie 7). The fortune cookies symbolize how the american dream can seem nice on the outside, but in reality, it is hollow and fake on the inside. Along with that, the blank fortune symbolizes how her relationship and her idea of The American Dream are fake and not as good as they seem. It shows how her relationship will eventually fail and dissolve, just like her idea of

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