A Danger Of A Single Story

1350 words - 5 pages

Žoldáková 4Comparison and Contrast EssayLiterature is something that matters. It has the power to change and shape our minds and opinions. It has the power to change the perception of the world around us and to boost our imagination. Take us far away from the reality to the world of illusions and let our minds flourished with imagination. One might think how amazing it is, but fiction as it is here today may often matter much more than it is meant to.Žoldáková 1TED is a non-profit global community whose mission is to spread ideas usually in the form of short talks which last no more than 18 minutes. TED began in 1984 as a conference, and today covers wide range of topics - from science to philosophy to global issues - in more than 100 languages welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. Both of the presenters whose ideas I will mention are novelists and story tellers. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian anglophone writer who succeeded in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature. In her novels, she is inspired by the history of her nation and its tragedies that are forgotten by recent generation of westerners. Elif Shafak is a Turkish novelist born in Strasbourg, France who is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Ch. N. Adichie in her talk warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. Things are not usually just black and white and we have to make every effort to open our minds and explore what is real. Elif Shafak talks about the danger into which writers from different cultures are put at; the pressure-that-makes-them-feel-as-a-representatives-of-their-cultures.She makes a strong division between fiction and reality - fiction and daily politics. Although, both of the writers are of non-western origin which to some extend make them quite similar in terms of cultural stereotypes, it seems that they do not share the same view of function of a story in our lives.Žoldáková 2While talking about the cultural and social background of these two writers, there are many things in which they differ, although their life journeys have many in common. Ch. N. Adichie was born in Nigeria, Africa. She grew up in a conventional middle-class family, her father was a professor and her mother was an administrator. She had a very happy childhood in a very close-knit family. However, a kind of political fear invaded their lives on the place they live. However, Chimamanda was a happy child who was writing stories about white people, just like those who she was reading about in books. On the other hand, Elif Shafak; although, she has Turkish parents, was born in France, Europe and when her parents got separated she was bringing up by her mother and her grandmother in Turkey. Her position was quite...

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