After watching the video: Danger of a Single Story
1. Write down a “Golden Message” that you took away from the speaker’s talk. This is some part of the video that really resonated with you. Take about a paragraph to describe it.
2. Using terms from Chapter 3 of the Essential Textbook, explain why that part of the message had an impact on you.
3. Finally, using the concepts of perception and perception checking from Chapter 2 of Natural Bridges textbook, talk about whether the speaker changed your thoughts or perception? If yes, how and in what way? If not, explain.

Perception Checking from Chapter 2:
A perception checking statement is a message you create to check your understanding of someone’s words or behavior.
The benefits of perception checking statements include:
a) helping us decode messages more accurately: Our goal is mutual understanding
b) reducing defensiveness & the potential for conflict: helps us avoid assuming too much.
Perception Checking has 3 parts:
• Description – provide a description of the behavior you noticed.
• Interpretation – provide two possible interpretations of the behavior.
• Clarification – request clarification from the person about the behavior & your interpretations.

Terms form Chapter 3 of the Essential Textbook:
• Culture: The language, values. Beliefs. Traditions. And customs people share and learn.
• Salience: How much weight we attach to a particular person or phenomenon.
• In-groups: Groups with which we identify.
• Out-group: Groups of people that we view as different from us.
• Coculture: The perception of membership in a group that is part of an encompassing culture.
• Race: A social construct originally created to explain biological differences among people whose ancestors originated in different regions of the world.
• Ethnicity: A social construct that refers to the degree to which a person identifies with a particular group, usually on the basis of nationality, culture, religion, or some other unifying perspective.
• Individualistic Culture: A culture in which members focus on the value and welfare of individual members. As opposed to a concern for the group as a whole.
• Collectivistic Culture: A culture in which members focus on the welfare of the group as a whole, rather than concerned mostly about personal success.
• Low-context culture: A culture in which people use language primarily to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas as directly as possible.
• High- context culture: A culture that relies heavily on subtle, often nonverbal cues to maintain social harmony.
• Uncertainty avoidance: The cultural tendency to seek stability and honor tradition instead of welcoming risk, uncertainty, and change.
• Power distance: e degree to which members of a group are willing to accept a difference in power and status.
• Ethnocentrism: The attitude that one’s own culture is superior to that of others.
• Prejudice: An unfairly biased and intolerant attitude toward others who belong to an out-group.
• Stereotyping: The perceptual process of applying exaggerated beliefs associated with a categorizing system.

Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.