The main characters in the short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are Akunna and Akunna’s boyfriend. The story focuses on their relationship, leading up to the eventual break-up. 

Other characters in the story are Akunna’s mother and father, who only appear. Akunna’s uncle ,who lives in Maine, is another character. He welcomes Akunna into his house but then tries to sexually assault her. The parents of Akunna’s boyfriend treat her well and invite the couple to spend some time at their summer cottage, however, Akunna’s boyfriend refuses the offer. Other characters are only mentioned briefly, and their attitudes are meant to draw attention to the issue of stereotypes and prejudices. 

You can read a full characterization of Akunna and her boyfriend in the following sections.