jueves, 23 de mayo de 2013

Entry # 5. SHE IS A WRITER

Before referring to the assignment itself,  I consider it extremely useful to make it clear what an argument is. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, an argument is "a reason given to support or disprove something. The use of reason to decide something or persuade someone."

Now that the concept of argument is clear, I will proceed to the assignment itself.


Chimanda Ngozi Adichie claims that as people read, they are permanently faced with the danger of a single story, thus becoming impressionable and vulnerable in the fields of modern literature. In her early childhood in Nigeria, she received her first literature influence from English and American literature for children. Such literature encouraged her imagination but people like her did not exist at all. At the age of four, she met African books, and such literature produced a kind of mental shift in her perception of literature, as coloured people did exist in the stories this time. African literature saved her from having a single story. Later, at the age of eight, her mother told her story about a poor boy, and all Chimanda knew about him was from her mother's tongue. Poverty was her single story of him. Once she met the boy's mother, she knew that she could do certain things Chimanda did not know. Chimanda only knew a single story of the boy and his family. Yet later when she left Nigeria and established in the USA, her American roommate made assumptions about her that, of course, were extremely wrong. Her roommate only knew a single story about Nigerians. Such single story installed the question of pity in her perception of Nigerian culture as she did not know many facts about them. There existed a default position according to which there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her, of feelings more complex than pity.  Before she went to the US, Chimanda did not identify herself as an African. After that, she became conscious of her African identity. A few years ago, she visited Mexico and realised she had been extremely influence by the media coverage of Mexicans. She had only thought of them as illegal immigrants. She  only knew a single story again. All the stories she mentioned made her who she really is. It can be then summarized that single stories create stereotypes and such stereotypes are incomplete. 

"When we reject a single story,
a regain a kind of paradise".
(Chimanda Ngozi Adichie)


Youtube, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Commonwealth lecture 2012. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vmsYJDP8g2U. Retrieved: May 15, 2013

Nairaland Forum, Chimamanda Adichie: 16 Things You Did Not Know About Her.

For further information about the writer, please visit:http://chimamanda.com/

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