Language

Style of language

The language used by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the short story “Cell One” is mainly neutral

The author uses Standard English, but, at times, she inserts words and expressions in Igbo language. Words like “ndo” – which means “sorry”, “Chi m egbuo m” – which means “My God has killed me”, “Ekwuzikwana” – which means “Don’t say that”, and “Nekwa ya” – which means “watch out”, add more authenticity to the story and reflect the characters’ Nigerian heritage. 

Then, the dialogue reflects some of the characters’ features. The mother’s expressions – “Oh! Oh! Chi m egbuo m! My God has killed me!” – reflect her attachment to her Nigerian heritage, but also her over-dramatization of events. When Nnamabia talks about the organization of the cell, his words reflect his immaturity and lack of knowledge when it comes to politics: 

‘If we ran Nigeria like this cell,’ he said, ‘we would have no problems. Things are so organized. Our cell has a c...

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