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< Back to question Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus? Show more Show less

Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

Short stories Show more Show less

A story a day keeps the doctor away.
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The Thing Around Your Neck

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche is best known for her illuminating novels on women, marriage, politics, and race. But her short stories are also powerful. In this collection, she examines the nuances of human relationships and how they fall apart.
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The Argument

You should read The Thing Around Your Neck because it causes readers to think about human relationships. In a time of self-isolation, readers are in need of finding connections to the world. Through the painfully raw storytelling of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, readers are immersed in the internal conflicts posed by familial and cultural relationships. [1] Readers can connect to the shared fear and loneliness that characters endure. In addition, The Thing Around Your Neck helps readers connect to diverse perspectives. [2] Although the reader may never go to Nigeria, they come to understand the struggles of Nigerian men, women, and children. This causes the reader to develop a sense of empathy for others. It encourages the reader to develop a wider perspective on the world by observing the universal struggles of those of different backgrounds. This can be especially beneficial during a time of self-isolation since it helps the reader realize that everyone has experienced struggles in their lives. The Thing Around Your Neck is also a great read because of its format. As a collection of short stories, the reader is given a glimpse at a spectrum of emotional depth from each story. This allows the reader an escape from the world while diving into the various stories of others. Due to the short story format, the reader will not grow bored with the same characters and storyline. Therefore, The Thing Around Your Neck should be read while self-isolating.

Counter arguments

In a time of self-isolation, there are other ways to find connections in the world, like chatting with family and friends online. The stories' characters also face numerous struggles, which may discourage self-isolating readers. In addition, people may prefer novels over short stories. A reader will get bored if they are not given enough depth and information about the characters to stay engaged.


[P1] Reading stories during quarantine can distract people from the pandemic by contemplating the deeper meaning of human relationships. [P2] Short stories can give insight to diverse perspectives. [P3] The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that focuses on relationships and global experiences. [P4] People should read The Thing Around Your Neck while self-isolating to feel more connected to the world through stories.

Rejecting the premises



This page was last edited on Tuesday, 16 Jun 2020 at 22:39 UTC

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