Rituals of Distrust

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“Birdsong” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an incredible story, which explains many significant issues referred to the relationships between a married man and a single woman. The author makes the reader plunge into plot of the story trying to show the life of a young Nigerian lady, who becomes a lover of an American businessman. Thus, being a narrator, the woman realizes that the so-called affair has destroyed her as a personality, and all people blindly follow particular rituals, based on distrust, while dealing with the same situation.

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Living in Lagos, Nigeria, the woman has an ordinary life but one silly affair changes her mind and perception of the world. In the beginning of the story, the author demonstrates that the narrator is unsatisfied with her life and all events that happen around her. It is evident that the woman is quite angry due to a regular traffic jam, but in fact, there is no essential reason to worry about it. Every minor detail of a usual day irritates her, and she cannot get rid of the feeling that another woman is staring at her. The protagonist starts thinking that it can be a wife of her lover, and this idea becomes an obsession that bothers her oul. Thus, the traffic jam seems to be eternal and heat compels the narrator to recollect her recent affair, which has a negative impact on her general state.

On the other hand, the narrator’s anger and thorough observations emphasize that the woman comes back to life realizing that reality is full of cruelty and injustice. It is obvious that the fuss of the city affects her current attitude towards the surroundings and memories related to the mentioned situation. The narrator gradually begins to muse on every detail of her past affair, and she understands that all the consequences are predictable. Perhaps, it is against her will but she cannot stop thinking of her lover and keeps in mind all aspects of their romance, which reveals her nothingness as a personality. Having the relationships with a married man, the woman indicates that nobody acknowledges her presence and judges due to her dirty contact. Moreover, analyzing her lover’s behavior and the way the others treat her, she concludes that her life is hidden from the whole world. Thus, the narrator is merely entrapped by her wrong choice.

Additionally, this love affair makes the woman invisible, and she graduallly loses her dignity. The author depicts that the protagonist wants people to accept her but it is impossible due to her unlawful position. She is nothing more than a lover and everybody can respect only the wife attempting to show his/her contempt for her shameless behavior. The narrator realizes this fact and it compels her to feel angry and devastated. Besides, the woman claims that all people just follow the existent rituals of distrust, which reveal human nature and their vices including the absence of spiritual values. She is also confident that the relationships between each other exist through these rituals connected with a set of rules which everyone follows as there is no other option.

In conclusion, the story “Birdsong” is a precise example of a cruel lesson that teaches one how a silly mistake can destroy the whole life. After having the love affair with a married man, the narrator realizes that it is her trap based on mistrust, which leads to solitude. Undoubtedly, this occasion and sad experience have changed the woman’s perception and even her outlook. She will never have the same relationships that make her invisible to the society, which despises her dishonest deed, again.

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