Themes and message

The main theme of the short story “A Private Experience” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is ethnic and religious conflict. This theme is enhanced through motifs like alienation, violence, corruption, politics, and the media. Because the story explores a real historical conflict—between the Igbo and Hausa peoples in Nigeria—the narrative is also complex in terms of issues and motifs. The story touch…


Ethnic and religious conflict

The whole plot of the story revolves around the conflict between the Christian Igbo people and Muslim Hausa people in Nigeria. The two main characters are caught in the middle of a violent outburst in the conflict, a street riot. The riot starts off from a simple accident as an Igbo man drives over a Muslim holy book without knowing it. This sets off a violent reaction from Hausa men who kill the Igbo man. From here onwards the conflict expands into a large street riot.

The story shows how religion, ethnic differences, and social frustrations can fuel conflict. As indicated by Chika’s situation, the Igbo people in Nigeria are generally wealthier and better educated, while the Hausa are poorer and have l…

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