tirsdag 10. januar 2012

"She makes storytelling seem as easy as a birdsong"

Cover of the book
It has been a while since last time I read a book, but when my teacher recommended a book for me, I decided to give it a try. The reason why I don't read books is not particularly because I don't enjoy it, but I don't find time and calm to do it. However, the book that I was introduced for is "The Thing Around Your Neck", a collection of twelve novels. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author, grew up on Nigeria and is the bestselling author of "Half of a Yellow Sun". Both of them have received great reviews and her writing is described so on: "She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong" - Daily Telegraph. 

So far I have read to of the novels, and I am looking forward to read more of them. however, I have done some analyzing to dig deeper into the stories. I have chosen two paragraphs from each novel to describe the plot and the development of the main character. Further I have explained why I chose these particular paragraphs.  

Novel: "The thing around your neck"
My Words
"You knew by people's reactions that you to were an abnormal couple - the way the nasty one were to nasty and the nice ones to nice. (…) The white men and women who said "What a good-looking pair" too brightly, too loudly, as though to prove their own open-mindedness to themselves." Page 125
The novel is about a young couple who finds it hard  to feel accepted by the society. At that time it was quite abnormal to see a couple of a black and a white, so it wasn't too hard to guess that they would get looks. The fact that most of the society didn't accept it is another story, one that luckily has been developed throughout the years.
Development of the main character
"So when he asked you what African country you were from, you said Nigeria and expected him to say that he had donated money to fight AIDS in Botswana. But he asked if you were Yoruba or Igbo, because you didn't have a Fulani face. You were surprised - you thought he must be a professor of anthropology at the state university, a little young in his late twenties or so, but who was to say? Igbo, you said. He asked your name and said Akunna was pretty. He did not ask what it meant, fortunately, because you were sick of how people said, "Father's wealth'? You mean like your father will actually sell you to a husband?""
I think that this moment really changed Akunna's view of Juan. Earlier she was very uncomfortable in Juan's  presence,  because she thought he was just another prototype American. But now she realized that he is a genuine, nice guy who just wants to be kind to her and learn more about her.

Novel: "Cell One"
My Words
"When he took the key of my father's car and pressed it into a piece of soap that  my father found before Nnamabia could take it to a locksmith, she made vague sounds about how he was just experimenting and didn't mean a thing." Page 6-7
I have chosen to use this quote to describe the plot of the story. This is mainly because it describes most of Nnamabia's actions, and a very important messages is to be found in this sentence. Nnamabia's mom let him do whatever he wanted, with no consequences given, which I think is why he did what he did. He is also described as a handsome young man, one thing that maybe let him do  more stuff.
Development of the main character
"Nnamabia stopped there and we asked him nothing else. Instead I imagined him raising his voice, calling the policeman a stupid idiot, a spineless coward, a sadist, a bastard, and I imagined the shock of the policemen, the shock of the chief staring openmouthed, the other cell mates stunned at the audacity of the handsome boy from the university." Page 21
This particular sentence shows us Nnamabia's development throughout the novel. From the way Nnamabia had acted earlier in the novel, this wouldn't be the expected behavior. After a stay in prison, he learn more about himself and the people around him. He saw people suffering, and realized that he didn't really had much to complain about.

1 kommentar:

  1. Great comments about the book and her short stories. You have chosen some descriptive paragraphs from both the stories too. It is interesting to follow the development of the characters in both stories. They both seem to live a lie in the beginning and to wake up to reality as the stories evolve.