Rhetorical Analysis Of 'The Danger Of A Single Story'

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How powerful is a single story? At Ted Global 2009, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, expresses her view of single stories and the ways in which they are used to create stereotypes and divides us as a people. Adichie’s talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”, stimulates careful consideration to what happens when people and situations are reduced to a single narrative. She believes single stories are highly correlated with the power structures of the world and have the ability to strip people of their humanity. In my rhetorical analysis essay, I will detail how Adichie’s talk is effective in persuading her audience because of the Cause & Effect Analysis, Exemplification, and Metadiscourse rhetorical strategies.
Adichie sets the tone
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As a young child, after being told of how poor her houseboy Fido was, Adichie did not believe his family could also be hardworking. “Their poverty was my single story of them.”(Adichie) She also details how later, on a trip to Guadalajara she was overwhelmed with shame because her only image of Mexicans was the “abject immigrant” due to the “…endless stories of Mexicans as people who were fleecing the healthcare system, sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border, that sort of thing.” (Adichie)a She was caught by surprise when she saw Mexicans happy and at work in the marketplace. Being that everyone can relate to having misjudged someone at least a time or two, Adichie skillfully chose to use the identification strategy to build the connection with her…show more content…
Adichie said, “… The consequence of a single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.” it was like an ‘aha’ moment for the audience. This was a broad claim but one that was supported by the story told of Adichie’s college roommate. Before she met her, Adichie’s roommate, felt enormous pity for her and did not believe the two of them could be similar in any way simply because she was African. Adichie questions how things would have been different on their first encounter had her roommate heard of all the positive influential people making a difference in Nigeria.
The undeniable truth is, a single story has the power to both deprive and empower people. In “The Danger of a Single Story”, Adichie captivates her audience and convinces them that many stories matter. The rhetorical strategies she chose to use for her argument ensured she presented the most thought provoking, impactful speech. As her Ted Talk continues to reach millions of listeners around the globe, her hope is to breakdown those perpetuated stereotypes and convince the audience to reject the single story by seeking and more importantly, sharing diverse
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