The language of the short story “Tomorrow Is Too Far” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is complex and often figurative, but easy to follow. Initially, the narrator’s tone comes across as detached because the story is told in the second person, but it gradually becomes more personal and empathetic.
The story is conveyed in the narrative mode. The writer avoids direct speech and instead uses indirect speech, a technique that suggests the story is subjective and presents only the narrator’s perspective: “…and Grandmama told you the snake was called the echi eteka, ‘Tomorrow Is Too Far’. One bite, she said, and it’s over in ten minutes.” (p. 25, ll. 9-10)
The choice of words is related to life in Nigeria and the US, and to family relationships, reflecting the themes of the text and its motifs: sibling rivalry and parental favoritism.
Occasionally, the writer uses euphemisms, a mild indirect way of saying something explicit: “…he tried to fit what you both called his ‘banana’ into what you both called your ‘tomato’ but neither of you was sure which was the right hole.” (p. 25, ll. 13-15)
Imagery is used frequently in connection to the setting and character’s actions, conveying vivid mental images of what the author is presenting:
…Grandmama’s yard felt moistly warm, a yard with so many trees that the t...