Cell One by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Book Review
Walt Disney said, "There is great comfort and inspiration in the feeling of close human relationships and its bearing on our mutual fortunes - a powerful force, to overcome 'tough breaks' which are certain to come to most of us from time to time." There is a single question that weighs over our world. What is right and what is wrong? Chimamanda addresses this in her writing and can be seen in her ted talks and biographies. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story “Cell One” shows how she deals with the thought of stealing and other elements of morality.
Ngozi Adichie's story opens with the main character, who is not named by the author, and her brother, Nnanamadia, sitting in a church on a Sunday morning, when her brother sneakily dips out. This item is not a normal occurrence for them as on a usual morning they attend as the whole family. When the siblings arrive at their home after the service they come to see that their house has been robbed but in a very odd way. Their parents, who had been on a trip, come into the parlor with looks of shock on their faces. But this didn’t seem like a normal robbery because “there was a theatrical quality to the way the drawers had been flung open."
One can be brought to wonder, do the main character's thoughts reflect those of the writer? I believe so. Adichie was born and raised in Nigeria, where this writing piece takes place. Her thoughts are conveyed through these characters who live in her home country. In addition to this, her writing makes connections to things that were special to her when she was a little girl, such as her father bringing back VHS tapes from his travels to the US. Upon acquiring further information, I was able to find out that this is not a fictional story in Nigeria, specifically Lagos, there is an unusually high crime rate. The author's shock at one of the characters robbing his home is evident all through the story.
The questions of morality are answered in this story, numerous interviews, and biographies in regards to her by Chimamanda. One of these places where she confesses her feelings on the topic is her book entitled, "We should all be feminists". In this book-length essay she writes many inspiring quotes. One being something she said herself, "The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations."
As stated previously the crime rate in Lagos, Nigeria is abnormally high. It includes not only theft but terrorism, economic fraud, kidnapping, and ethnic violence.
By the means of using her native languages in a story that she writes in the first-person view, there is an element of engulfing the reader into the story so that they can feel part of the story. This is only one example of Chimamanda's skill as a writer. The characters in all the pieces that she has created have their personalities and no two are exactly alike. When she creates a character that is known for stealing, this further integrates the setting into the story, by using her unique style.
Overall, Chimianda is majorly influential in all fields. Feminism, writing, leadership, and critical thinking. From her ted talk about “the danger of a single story” to her short story “cell one”, it is evident that there is no limit to how far she can go. Personally, I have also been influenced majorly by all of her works. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in her book, “Dear Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen”, “Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.”