Adiche's Othello: A Single Story

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Stories can be used to empower, to break, and to rebuild human nature. Moreover, the most dangerous kind of story is a single story. Single stories are so incredibly dangerous because they create stereotypes and, as Adiche said, “the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but they are incomplete” (Adiche). A single story about Africa being a completely destitute and hopeless place caused Adiche’s college roommate to immediately have extreme feelings of melancholy for her; her roommate even believed she was unable to work a stove which was far from the truth. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, other characters assume Othello’s traits, habits, and abilities simply based on his single story. Othello’s single story is exceedingly normal; he is Muslim, from Northern Africa, and black. Adiche says, “a single story robs people of their dignity” (Adiche), basing their assumptions on facts they do not like, characters such as Brabantio…show more content…
Waking up Brabantio and immediately stating his daughter has been robbed from him by the Moor eliminates any other possibilities of why Desdemona would run away with Othello; even love. Iago says, “sir, you’re robbed. For shame, put on your /gown! /Your heart is burst. You have lost half your soul. /Even now, now, very now, an old black ram /is tupping your white ewe” (1.1.94-98) When Iago says, “you’re robbed”, it is much easier for Brabantio to believe that Othello has stolen his daughter because of where Othello is from and his appearance hence; his single story. Also, as Iago says, “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe” he tries to use animalistic imagery to disturb and manipulate Brabantio’s thoughts for the worst. This animalistic imagery and incredible wordplay from Iago comes straight from Othello’s ordinary single story yet Iago somehow makes it spiral into something so much

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