A Single Story Analysis

Decent Essays
When Adichie refers to a single story, she is describing that a person or group of people may be disillusioned due to their lack of exposure to other perspectives and ideas. For instance, Adichie states that when she read American and European storybooks as a child, all of the characters were of the white race and exemplified white characteristics, leading to an ignorant and close-minded depiction of the world. Moreover, when Adichie began reading African literature, she found that “people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature”(Adichie 1:07). This illustrates that in both African and European literature, characterization is limited to the demographics known to the writers, the story is restricted based on one’s viewpoint. Furthermore, the danger in simply reading or writing a single story is that over time, a person, or group of people, can become bias due to their lack of exposure to cultural and ethnical diversity. For example, Adichie describes that when she met the family of Fide, her houseboy, and saw that one of Fide’s brothers had woven a beautiful basket she was taken aback because “it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story for them”(Adichie 3:43). This seemingly minor misconception exposes Adichie to the dangers of following “a single story”, a reality check which changed her perception of the world. Furthermore, the
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