Danger of a Single Story - Adichie


Language Features

'mental shift'- Metaphor to indicate how her opinion changed.

'Fide's family have nothing' - Reported speech makes the description more vivid.

' "tribal music" ' - Quotation marks are used to emphasise how ridiculous an assumption her roommate made.

' She assumed i did not know how to use a stove.' - Stands alone as its own paragraph. Single sentence. By this point, the reader understands this disbeleif. The single line speaks for itself.

'no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals' - the repetition of 'no possibility' shows the gulf of understanding the single story creates- She'll always feel and be seen as different.

When describing the Mexicans, 'sneaking across the border...that sort of thing'- mimics the media's hyperbole/emotive language used. 'That sort of thing' shows how casually prejudice becomes established.

'We regain a kind of paradise' -Ends with a metaphorical statement suggesting how the world could be a better place if everyone accepted diverse stories. Rhetorical device to leave reader to ponder on the message.

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Begins with 'I'm a storyteller'- Simple, personal statement, no politics involved.

The word 'danger' is constantly repeated- This emphasises the vitality and importance of understanding the single story matter. Danger suggests life-changing which emphasises how the single story can change lives.

'My mother says that I started reading at the age of two, although i think four is probably more close to the truth'- Immediatley suggesting the idea of having 2 stories, subtly. Prepares the reader for ideas of having 2 versions to the same truth.

'So, I felt enourmous pity'- 'So' suggests the simplistic way that children draw conclusions from what they are told without question.

'dyed raffia' - colourful, surprises Adichie as she assumed poor people to have colourless, downtrodden, miserable lives.

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  • 'I come from a conventional, middle-class Nigerian family'- Structural feature as focus shifts to a new story and new character, Fide.
  • Begins with 'danger' , ends with a resolution.
  • Repetition of 'single story' to bring us back to main focus
  • Chronological order. Circular structure.
  • Recollection of early life and influences.
  • Started by Fide, but roommate was shocked. Ironic.
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  • Believes people are convinced easily by the single story from books and media
  • Shows how she was as a child
  • Shows her appreciation for African books, widening perspective of literature- as well as Western.
  • Presents her family as normal 'conventional' but roommate was shocked at Adichie being 'modern'. Ironic.
  • Shock of single story assumptions.
  • Expresses her shame for stereotyping Mexicans.
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  • Use of First Person
  • Direct, conversational tone
  • Use of motif 'a single story'
  • Humour and self-criticism
  • Mini story examples, personal experiences to show wider concern
  • Cliched images to illustrate views of Africans and Mexicans
  • Rhetorical techniques
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