Wanton Killing in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “A Private Expereince” and “The American Embassy” in The Thing Around Your Neck

Ogechukwu Ikediugwu


This essay establishes that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short stories, “A Private Experience” and “The American Embassy”, deal with the theme of wanton killings in Nigeria and that these killings have political, religious and ethnic undertones. Postcolonialism is the theory employed in the analysis of the stories. The paper identifies some of the killings, traces their causes and origin and concludes that the killings have caused Nigeria the lives of her prominent personalities; the causes are trivial and the origin is usually from the northern part of Nigeria. The paper also establishes that, sometimes, the leadership instigates the killings to further the divisions and hatred that already exist among Nigerians so that they can never come together to overthrow the obnoxious government. We conclude that the crises in Nigeria have reduced Nigerians to types instead of the individuals they really are: the punishment for a crime committed by a person affects all the people that belong to the person’s ethnic group because he represents his ethnic group. The paper also proffers solutions: the government needs reconstruction since Nigeria’s problems emanate from leadership; Nigerians need to rethink to remove bias from their actions, recognize and respect individual differences and treat all Nigerians equally.


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