The Danger Of A Single Story By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Pages: 4 (909 words) Published: March 8, 2018

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made a video for GlobalTED in 2009 titled “The Danger of a Single Story” where she argues the point that stories about foreign countries shape the readers perspectives on that country. She is a successful author from Nigeria who completed her studies in the United States. Her first argumentative point is that the stories we read as children cause the greatest impression on us as readers. Adichie then furthers her point that many of the stories we read about other countries is based upon a single experience and are not “authentic” of the country (Adichie). She finishes her argument with the explanation of why we are so “…impressionable and vulnerable…” (Adichie) to these stories and that is because of the power of the...

She gave the example of when she moved to the Untied States and how her roommate reacted to her, “My American roommate was shocked by me. She asked where I had learned to speak English so well and was confused when I said that Nigeria happened to have English as its official language. She asked if she could listen what she called my “tribal music” and was consequently very disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey” (Adichie). Since she is from a country that is under that label of being not being modern, her experience with her roommate is one of the many examples she gives pertaining how people treat her based on her native country. This really helps her argument because many of us do believe that no one in Africa can live the same lives and talk as Americans do. I have seen this behavior displayed towards foreign exchange students from Africa when I was in high school as well. Their peers didn’t believe that they spoke English, so they would speak very slowly and use dramatic hand gestures to get their very simple point across. The foreign students would respond in perfect English and the person who was talking to them would feel ridiculous because they just assumed that because this student was from Africa, they couldn’t speak English. This didn’t only happen to these African students either because students from Italy...

Adichie’s deception was also swayed by the media’s stories about Mexico being that everyone who identified as Mexican “…were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, …” (Adichie). When she arrived in Guadalajara, she became shameful in the sense that she also identified people that she didn’t know as something that the media portrayed them as, just like people did about her since she was from Africa. This made her argument effective because she chose to tell her own experience of a misperception by a single story to a country that many people have that same outlook on as she did. She gained this perspective, as many people do, which is from the media. Adichie explains that “…to create a single story, show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” This statement is very true because the media does mainly focus on the negative impact that certain foreigners have on America and they replay that same story repeatedly and that is all that people are informed about and this leads to Adichie’s solution on this...
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