Structure

The short story “Cell One” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a non-chronological structure

The beginning of the story introduces readers to the main characters and the context: “The second time our house was robbed, it was my brother Nnamabia, who faked a break-in and stole my mother’s jewelry. It happened on a Sunday. My parents had travelled to their home town to visit our grandparents…”. 

A flashback is introduced when the narrator talks about the first time her family’s house was robbed: “Osita, our neighbor who had stolen our TV only weeks before Nnamabia’s theft, was lithe and handsome (…) When he stole from us, my parents did not go over to Professor Ebube’s house to ask for our things back”. Another flashback is introduced when the narrator presents her brother’s troublesome past.

When the narrator talks about the development of cults, a foreshadowing element hints that Nnamabia will be arrested f...

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