A Single Story Of Africa

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An Alternative to the Western’s “Single Story” of Africa
According to Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian writer who believes in the power of story, if one traps oneself into the narrow world of “single story” about another person or country, that person would risk a crucial misconception. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is considered as the most authentic response to contemporary Western’s literature depiction of Africa, which usually obligates the readers to only look at the “single story” that is written with personal stereotypes under an ethnocentric point of view. As a result, in his famous Things Fall Apart, Achebe contrasts the perspective of the colonized on imperialism with that of the colonizing in order to provide an alternative to the Western literature’s “single story” of Africa.
Things Fall Apart is not the only “weapon” that Achebe created to challenge Western literature’s portrayal of Africa; he also wrote Image of Africa with the intention of abolishing the usual Western portrayal of Africa. “We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there we could look at thing monstrous and free” (Achebe, “Image of Africa” 251). Achebe’s reference here in Image of Africa brings light to how Conrad portrays Africa. Indeed, one can easily notice how each word brings up a negative connotation to the audience, which in this case, Conrad transforms the image of “the shackled from of a conquered monster” to “monstrous and free” in order to
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