Rhetorical Analysis On Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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At an official Ted conference in 2009, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TEDGlobal talk addressing the dangers of a single story. Adichie was a Nigerian novelist who came to America around the age of nineteen. Since then, she has understood what is like to be defined by a single story. She faced constant misconceptions of what it means to be an African. Because they didn 't understand that Africa was a place of many cultures and many ways of life, Americans treated her as the poor, starving African they saw on television. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had to live with the only perception Americans had of her. This single story that Adichie was identified by acts as the basis for her speech. She proved to her audience that limiting a people to a single…show more content…
Adichie relays many stories from her childhood all the way to adulthood. These stories allow the audience to connect with Adichie on a personal level, creating pathos. For example, Adichie talks about how her college roommate was oblivious to fact that Africans speak English and listen to American pop music. This allows the audience to see the dangers of a single story from the perspective of someone affected by a single story. The anecdotes also provide ethos by establishing credibility. If she has faced the dangers of her own single story, then she has the authority to speak about the subject. Her life stories then become evidence that contributes to the logos of the speech and proves the genuine dangers of a single story. This danger is also made real through Adichie 's use of literary allusions. Adichie references authors from the 16th century all the way to present day. These allusions provide a historical context, proving the timelessness of stereotyping. Since the danger of a single story is no new idea, Adichie 's speech is not an anomaly. Instead, she is addressing a constant issue which creates a more credible and logical argument. The literary allusions are also another form of evidence and show how literature can be a source and an effect of a single story. This expands the logos of the speech by giving more evidence. Overall, Chimamanda…show more content…
Adichie 's use of asyndeton in her TEDGlobal talk emphasizes the many stories lost within a single story. When talking about describing herself, Adichie does not separate the traits: “I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.” The lack of a conjunction between the description of her skin and hair shows that these traits are not independent of one another. Instead, they both come together to make up one person. In the same way, people are not comprised of one story. They are made up of many stories that work together to create the full picture of that person. Adichie continues to use asyndeton to describe the many possibilities that her roommate misses when she only sees one story: “My roommate had a single story of Africa: a single story of catastrophe. In this single story, there was no possibility of Africans being like her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex that pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.” Adichie 's asyndeton fills the audience with the human connection that is not possible with a single story. Since Adichie does not use a conjunction, the list does not end, which opens the door up for more possibilities, thus extending the power of the human connection that is lost. This reinforces Adichie 's idea that a single story overshadows an endless amount of stories and possibilities. Adichie’s use of asyndeton creates the sense
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