The Dangers of a Single Story essay

ChimamandaNgozi Adichie makes the persuasion speech, and she tries to talkabout the risk of a single story. Through it, she validates themanner in which humans are vulnerable and helpless in the facade of atale mainly as a youngster.

TheDangers of a Single Story

Shedubs it “dangers of a single story” to depict when someoneregularly hears one value or vice concerning a person or group. Ifsomebody picked this information up before knowing or interactingwith the said entity that is how they eventually identify them untilproven otherwise. The person becomes ignorant of other diversifyingcharacteristics and aspects the people possess.

Sheuses several examples to put across her point. She tells us how shegrew up nourishing her intellect from westernized books. Owing to herbackground, she could not relate to the features of the tales. Forexample, the people in the stories drunk ginger ale which was such anunfamiliarity to her. Nonetheless, she acknowledged and inscribedabout them for the reason that it was her understanding of thewritings from the books she had read. The people she wrote about withher crayons were white-skinned and blue-eyed. She was amazed when shecame across African written books which seemed to have things shecould identify with such as chocolate skinned people.

Shealso recalls a time when they got a houseboy from the village and howher mother always reminded her that his family was poor. She recallswhenever she had leftovers on her plate of food her mother would urgeher to finish it up. Her mother always convinced her using the storyof Fide’s family’s financial status claiming they had nothing toeat. They also sent Fide’s family food and clothes they no longerneeded. She further demonstrates how amazed she was when they paidFide’s family a visit in the village and how she laid her eyes on abasket Fide’s brother had made. She was shocked that anything otherthan poverty would come out of Fide’s family.

Sheis also an example of a single story of an African in the eyes ofAmericans. When she goes to attend college in the U.S, she gets anAmerican roommate who is shocked that she can speak English fluently.Her roommate has confusion spelled all over her face when Chimamandainforms her that English is an official language in Nigeria and herplace of origin. Her roommate also expects that she has a “tribalmusic playlist.” She is surprised when Chimamanda reveals her albumof Mariah Carey a renown universal R&ampB song artist. Chimamanda’sroommate also imagines that she doesn’t know how to use a stove.Whenever a topic on Africans came up in school everyone turned to herbecause she was a Nigerian. They related with Africa as a country andnot a continent.

Interculturalcommunication is the flow of information between people of differentlinguistic backgrounds. Chimamanda’s speech is pertinent toIntercultural communication because the single story generatestypecasts which are not only untrue but also incomplete. The singlestory raids people of self-worth. It brands the acknowledgment of thehuman equality problematic. It stresses on people’s dissimilaritiesrather than in what way they share.

Itoo had an encounter with the single story when I came across a JewCaucasian student in my school. I was very confused because shewasn’t white didn’t have curly black hair and a big nose. What Ihad heard of Jews all over edged on only those aspects. It impairedmy judgment of her that I almost called her an imposter. I didn’trealize that it was possible to have disparaging characteristics fromthe stereotypes.


Thespeaker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, begins by giving us a tale on whatshe would inscribe as a youngster using crayons. She would composestories from her drawings simpatico to the odd ones she came acrossin books. The people depicted in her stories had bleached skin andhad blue eyes unlike her. Up to the time, she came across Africanstories is the time she understood that persons similar to her couldbe present in tales too. If we pick up literature concerning aportion of the globe, we tend to form a habit of identifying thatregion from those stories. Those tales we take up invoke feelings inus sentiments alike to pity, concerning the folks habiting theregion. She then goes to say, “Show people as one thing and onething only over and over again and that is what they become.” Thatis the result expected from a single story concerning anything. Asingle story likewise raids individuals of self-worth and highlightsin what way folks are dissimilar. By appealing through every tale ofa being, region or matter the deception of a single story can staycircumvented. I come to an agreement that the single story makes thedissimilarities in individuals conspicuous as well as being ahalf-finished depiction.


Adichie,Chimamanda. &quotThe danger of a single story.&quot TED Ideas worthspreading (2009).