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Transcript of Birdsong Presentation
Sexism - The story displays occasions where she is treated differently because she is a woman, yet it never outright explains this.
Distrust - Throughout the story, she describes how people learn to distrust each other in society, and distrust is also a major part of her relationship. Human vs Self: "I should have got dressed, gone back to my flat in Surulere, and deleted his number from my phone. But I stayed. I stayed for thirteen months and eight days."
Human vs Society:“That is how we relate to one another here, through rituals of distrust." Characters The Narrator - Has a relationship with the Lover, a married man. Works at Celnet Telecom
The Lover - "An urbane man of forty-five", a wealthy businessman. "He was full of the glossy self-regard of men who shrugged off their importance in a way that only emphasized it."
Emmannuel - The Lover's driver, a grumpy old man.
Chikwado - The Narrator's friend (by obligation), also a woman working at Celnet Telecom, desperately wants to settle down.
The Boss - A religious man, who showed subtle sexism by making the Narrator and Chikwado do tasks like serving cake in the workplace because they were women.
The Woman in the Car - "She was beautiful, or perhaps she was just so unusual-looking, with wide-set eyes sunk deep in her face, that “beautiful” was the easiest way of describing her. She was the kind of woman I imagined my lover’s wife was, a woman for whom things were done."
The Waiter - Doesn't acknowledge the Narrator when she and her lover are dining. Biography Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Was born in 1977 in Nigeria
Moved to the US at the age of 19 to attend college.
Received her Master's Degree in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University in 2003
Most well known for her works Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun Sees woman in a car staring at her, thinks that that is what her lover's wife would be like.
This leads to her thinking about her relationship with her lover.
She continues to describe her encounters with him, how she initially meets him, and eventually spending a majority of her free time at one of his houses with him as their relationship grows.
She begins to feel unsatisfied with her relationship, as she comes to the realization that it will never be her that he is with, but his wife instead. She wants to be the only one. Conflict Setting Takes place in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Lover's House: "a faded-white house, with its quiet grandeur and airy spaces, which was built during British colonial rule and sat in a compound full of fruit trees, the enclosing wall wreathed in creeping bougainvillea."
The story is told by the Narrator stuck in traffic in her car, being stared at by a woman. Video 8:27-11:48 Jeopardy! https://jeopardylabs.com/play/birdsong