Structure

The plot of “Tomorrow Is Too Far” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can be summarized as follows: upon her grandmother’s death, the narrator recalls how she was responsible for her brother’s death 18 years previously, but she made her parents believe that her grandmother was to blame. 

The short story has a flashback structure. The plot is fragmented, using present and past events which overlap and which are presented from the character-narrator’s perspective in the second person…

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Beginning

The short story begins with a long exposition in which the narrator introduces readers to the time and context of the events - 18 years earlier, in her grandmother’s yard in Nigeria:

It was the last summer you spent in Nigeria, the summer before your parents’ divorce, before your mother swore you would never again set foot in Nigeria to see your father’s family, especially not Gra…

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Middle

The middle of the short story overlays events from the past with present events, revealing that the story about the death of Nonso is a flashback memory.

The rising action begins by presenting the events following Nonso’s death:  the grandmother’s grief, the reaction of the neighbors, and the phone call to America and the response of the narrator’s mother: “Grandmama screamed at him – at his limp body – saying i laputago m, that he had betrayed her, asking him who would carry on the Nnabuisi name now, who would protect the fami…

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