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Find the answer key for the topic “THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY” below:

Note: Be prepared to share your original ideas in a class discussion.


Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. In the transcript, the author discusses her college roommate’s assumptions about her and her life. What are the effects of prejudice? Describe a time when you, or someone you know, were the victim of a single story.
Ans: Some of the effects of prejudice are:
-It makes one feel less human.
-It leads to low self-esteem.
-It can lead to bullying.
-It can even result in discrimination.
-One as a victim of a single story was accused of stealing a phone and everyone believed the accuser and refused to hear the story of the accused.

Q.2. In the transcript, the author discusses the power of diverse stories. How do we understand the world around us? How have the stories you’ve read shaped your understanding of the world and people who are different from you? Are there single stories in your reading, listening, or viewing that you could expand on?
Ans: Stories are powerful and help us understand the world around us. They can also expand our understanding of a topic by talking to someone who has been there and done that. The stories I’ve read have given me a new perspective on the subject and have helped me better understand it. Yes, there are single stories in my reading and listening that I can expand on, such as living in the Middle East and the conflicts, and I can do so by speaking with someone who has firsthand experience or who lives there.

Q.3. In the context of the text, what makes you who you are? Is it primarily the positive or negative life experiences that make you who you are? What are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s views on the construction of one’s identity?
Ans: Positive and negative life experiences make someone who they are. A person is shaped by what they experience; when they succeed, they know how to do something, and when they fail, they learn how to do it differently, so they might succeed. People are wonderful in the fact that everyone is different. No two people have experienced exactly the same thing, and so society is in a constant race of learning from each other. Chimamanda feels that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. She feels that a person’s experiences, stories, and travels, that all pile together to form that person.

Q.4. In the transcript, the author discusses single stories. How does prejudice emerge? How do single stories contribute to the construction of prejudice? How can this be combatted?
Ans: A single story is a single person’s or something’s point of view. Single tales can misrepresent the entire story. Prejudice arose when people began to believe that someone was who they were because of one story. Single stories frequently reflect the bad characteristics of a group of people, a culture, or a religion, and are frequently repeated by outsiders or those who have no real-life experience with the story’s base. When it is told, the listeners focus on the bad and tend to believe that this applies to everyone. It may, however, be combated by sharing more positive tales from individuals who have experienced what they are talking about. The propagation of prejudices and misinformation would gradually diminish. They may never completely vanish, but without single stories that exclusively share the worst, people may become more well-rounded, educated, and aware. People can start to comprehend other people and civilizations.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. What is the central idea of the text?
Ans: Literature is reflective of the stories that are most popular and that people are most likely to identify with.

Q.2. What connection does the author draw between British, American, and African stories?
Ans: British and American stories discuss a greater variety of experiences, while African stories are limited.

Q.3. What is the author’s purpose in the text?
Ans: Adichie wants to show how important it is to acknowledge more than a single story in order to fully understand what you are unfamiliar with.

Q.4. How do paragraphs 22-24 contribute to the development of ideas in the text?
Ans: They illustrate the damage that single stories can cause to groups of people.

Q.5. How does the author use her personal experiences in the text to introduce and develop her main idea? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.
Ans: The Danger of a Single Story shows the importance of having an all-round view of matters, people, and situations. A Single Story only provides a limited view. The author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had so many experiences of adopting a single story of others and being reciprocated with such views about her and Africa by others.
In the speech “The Danger of a Single Story,” the author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, uses her personal experiences to introduce and develop her main idea. She shares examples of times when she adopted a single story about others and when others had a single story about her and Africa. By sharing these personal experiences, Adichie can illustrate the limitations and dangers of having a narrow perspective or understanding of people and situations.
For example, Adichie talks about how growing up in Nigeria, she primarily read books by white authors that portrayed characters who were nothing like her or anyone she knew. This led her to believe that stories could only be about certain types of people or places. However, when she later encountered African literature written by African authors, it challenged this single-story narrative and expanded her understanding.
Adichie also shares an experience from college where her roommate had a single-story view of Africa as a poverty-stricken continent full of wild animals. This stereotype not only limited the roommate’s perception but also affected how she interacted with Adichie. Through this anecdote, Adichie highlights how adopting a single story can lead to misunderstandings and perpetuate stereotypes.


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In CommonLit, “THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY” is one of the students’ favorite transcripts authored by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for grade 11 students.

In this transcript with TED Talk, Adichie delves into her encounters with literature and the transformative power of stories in shaping our perceptions of the world and its diverse inhabitants.


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