The language used in the short story “A Private Experience” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a combination of standard English—used by Chika and the narrator, and broken or Pidgin English—used by the Muslim woman. The difference in language is meant to emphasize the social differences between the two characters.

The choice of words is related to life in Nigeria and the ethnic conflict between Igbo Christians and Hausa Muslims, including political and religious references and words related to violence.

Imagery is used from time to time, showing readers where and how the action takes place or how the characters look and act. Here are two examples from the text: “The store looks as if it was deserted long before the riots started; the empty rows of wooden shelves are covered in yellow dust,...

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