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 touches upon the causes of this conflict through the motifs of politics and corruption (it is politicians who promote the conflict) as well as the consequences of this conflict: violence, innocent victims, feelings of alienation (it is hard for the two women to connect).

Ethnic and religious conflict

The whole plot of the story revolves around the conflict between the Christian Igbo people an...

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