The Religious Conflict of a Private Experience

Topics: Religion, Ethnic group, Religious belief Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: April 7, 2013
The Religious Conflict of A Private Experience
In "A Private Experience" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichiea, a religious conflict is clearly indicated in the beginning. A Christian Igbo girl hides from a violent riot with a Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to encounter the realities and fears she is been pushing away. Many examples are used to display the differences between these two people, but the one that sticks out the most for me is the scarf and how it is represented in her story, “A Private Experience.” This scarf that is hanging around this woman’s neck represents who she is as a person and her ethnicity. This scarf not only breaks the boundary between two characters of distinct backgrounds, but it associates them as one. That same scarf also breaks a stereotype of religion and brings these two characters that share different religious beliefs to become women who are trying to survive. The simple item of a scarf brought the main character Chika and another woman together as one. That same scarf also separated these two women because of their different ethnic backgrounds. Chika is Christian Igbo, and the other woman is Muslim as identified in the story. When the two characters first meet, Chika identified this other woman as a Muslim right away because of the scarf that is around her neck. “And that she is Muslim, because of the scarf. It hangs around the woman’s neck now, but it was probably wound loosely round her face before, covering her ears” (44). It is evident that the street vendor woman is quite poor, but she shares what little she has with Chika including her thread bare scarf. Something as simple as piece of material classified this woman from a certain type of ethnic background. It also is the piece that separates these two characters. The scarf around her neck causes Chika to associate her with a separate group of people. Chika saw her as a Muslim first, and a woman second. Even with both women being raised in different cultural and...
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