Analysis of Chimamanda Adichie "The Danger of a Single Story"

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About this sample


Words: 1295 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 1295|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

People imprisoned in a cave are not willing to seek the light because they are fearful of the unknown truth of what is outside. They wish to remain in the cave and its darkness that they know. However, is what they know, the truth? Their perhaps false knowledge, in the name of stereotypes, is deeply ingrained into their mindsets from when they were children. These lies become stories, in various versions and point of views. However, some stories express the absolute and undeniable truth. Regardless, society does not even consider the necessity of revisiting them, perhaps under a different light. Chimamanda Adichie's 'The Danger of a Single Story' widens one’s lens as she takes viewers on her journey of finding her original voice, filled with experiences of coping with her and others’ assumptions. She warns that racial and socioeconomic stereotypes lead to incorrect attachments to one's identity. To tear down the destructive power of these biases, Adichie suggests that viewers discern diverse perspectives and then express their own stories. In Adichie's 'The Danger of a Single Story,' one may argue that these profoundly rooted stories can become false perspectives that do not negatively affect the one assumed, but the one who assumes. Therefore, to finally be free to be who they truly are, Adichie asks individuals to tear these human-made labels and replace it with their humanity. Humanity is when people share a basic nature of compassion and love, regardless of their external differences. It all begins with a genuine smile.

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To begin with, when one uses a silenced story to define a diverse society, the danger of losing oneself emerges. Adichie does not see herself in the common American and British books, as she realizes, 'But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature'. Adichie's acknowledgement of her existing in a compelling world of 'literature,' emphasizes that one's biases devalue one’s self-potential. Therefore, this message approaches the 'unintended' conflict of humans adopting one another's identity and not embracing their own. Racism developed centuries ago, yet exists today in the hands that support guns and bombs against the ones who hold posters and books. Recently, thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh are hiding along the borderline and are being denied to return to Myanmar. These refugees fled from the hardships of the Rohingya genocide, a series of atrocities against them by the leader of Myanmar, Win Myint. These persecutions include massive murders of civilians, burning down villages, rapes and sexual violence. Little do they know that diversity and significant economic value come hand in hand. Similar to Adichie who underestimated her power in literature, Myanmar devalued their potential in forming a diverse and economically prosperous nation. Myint writes the fate of these refugees and is ignorant of their value as part of a nation. Why should the leader kill them when no individual is an enemy to the country? For whose sake?

As seen from the essay, Adichie's 'The Danger of a Single Story' expresses that these ancient narratives develop artificial filters that do not impact the one judged, but the one who judges. Human beings are not characters inside a story and social bias is not a fictional narrative. Every individual should speak up against these inaccurate perceptions of reality and understand that one's aspirations are as valid as others. The mind is a powerful force one will ever face. Stereotypes dwell inside this mind. They have caused countless doors in one's life to be locked when they should not be. All the doors, in reality, are open and thus all one has to do is walk through.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Analysis of Chimamanda Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story”. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 5, 2023, from
“Analysis of Chimamanda Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story”.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
Analysis of Chimamanda Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 Dec. 2023].
Analysis of Chimamanda Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2023 Dec 5]. Available from:
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