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The Thing Around Your Neck - Tomorrow Is Too Far Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By koolkatskanny
Words 1727
Pages 7
Tomorrow Is Too Far
VATE Inside Stories 2014

This is the other story in the collection, which is told in the second person and it is considered the more powerful one by many reviewers. This story looks back eighteen years to an incident in the narrator’s childhood, one which has had a major impact on her whole life. The narrator reflects on the last summer before everything changed – her parents divorced, she never returned to Nigeria or saw her father’s family again. The memory begins eighteen years earlier in Nigeria at grandmamma’s place where the American-Nigerian narrator, her older brother Nonso and her cousin Dozie were all staying. Grandmamma favoured Nonso as the eldest grandson and the only one to carry the ‘Nnabuisi name’ (p.188) and largely ignored the other two. This was the summer that Nonso died, leaving grandmamma and her American daughter-in-law grief stricken. The narrator felt alienated from them both.

The action moves from the memory to the present where the narrator has arrived back in Nigeria, having been called by Dozie for the first time in eighteen years and told about the death of her grandmother. Dozie tells her that he is surprised to see her because he knows how much she hated grandmamma. She recalls Nonso’s funeral and the months later where she told her mother that he died because grandmamma sent him up the avocado tree ‘to show how much of a man he was’ (p.194) and then frightened him by telling him there was a snake there. She also said that when he fell, grandmamma did nothing about it and he died because of this. The narrator then acknowledges to herself that this was the summer ‘you knew something had to happen to Nonso, so that you could survive’ (p.195) that he took up ‘too much space (p.195). She recalls how she tricked Nonso up the avocado tree, and then shouted out that there was a snake. Nonso hesitated then fell to…...

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