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Three African Novels About Personal African Experiences of the Authors Essay

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Africa has always been identified as the Dark Continent; but is it the native culture’s responsibility or is the stereotype caused by the influences of “civilized” society? CIvilized society lives in the “flicker” (Conrad) whereas the Africans live in the heart and soul of Nature allowing her to grow in and through them. Conrad, Achebe, and Kingsolver all view the natives in an overall positive light amid undertones of reverence and sympathy.
Each author has a unique tone toward the natives according to their personal experiences. All of the authors, however, recognize the “wild vitality” (Conrad) within the natural populace, and Conrad specifically goes so far as to declare that they are as “true as the surf along the coast” (Conrad). The “civilized” white men in all three novels feel it is their position to go to Africa and “fix” them—the very “thought of their humanity” (Conrad) is what causes the white man to label them as adversaries while the writers identify them as vibrant and whole. People as a whole stereotype Africa by calling it “the dark domain of poison-tipped arrows and bone-pierced lips” (Poisonwood Bible), however, the authors of these works all craft them in such a way as to display their personal reverence for the natives. They see, and want readers to see, how admirable the natives in reality truly are and sympathize with them on account of struggles with the colonists.
Details used throughout the novels further convey the authors’ thoughts and mood toward the native Africans. To these novelists, the African culture and people are beautiful—not because of artificial possessions, but because of their natural being. Even when their “bodies [stream] with perspiration” (Conrad) or their faces look “l...


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...their] being” (Conrad) prevents them from seeing the richness of the culture surrounding them. In many instances, the indigenous culture has robust values and they are “not even Christians” (Poisonwood Bible), a religion associated with a civilized people.
By the end of it all, readers ought to realize how much harm and evil “civilized” societies can generate and begin working to alter mankind’s bitter, unbreakable heart. All three authors idolize the African people and culture for their morals and mode of life; “civilized” societies should take note and learn from the native tribal customs while they are still in existence. These cultures bring new breath to the human race and deserve to be looked upon as positive and valuable for all of humanity.



Works Cited

Heart of Darkness; Joseph Conrad
Things Fall Apart; Achebe
Poisonwood Bible; Barbara Kingsolver


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