Essay on Author Bias in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

Essay on Author Bias in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

Length: 1025 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Authors often write not only to tell a story, but to communicate personal ideas and opinions to the readers. Even more personal beliefs can be read through the bias that the author uses, often the product of society or race. In the novella Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad displays his opinions through the attitudes and actions of his main characters Marlow and Mr. Kurtz. Similarly, Chinua Achebe shows his personal beliefs through the character Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart. Both authors, whether intentionally or not, show their opinions on the relations between Native Africans and European colonists in the Victorian era, and the races themselves.
Conrad’s main character Marlow is the narrator for most of the story in Heart of Darkness. He is presented as a well-intentioned person, and along his travels he is shocked by the cruelties that he sees inflicted on the native people. Though he is seemingly benevolent and kindly, Marlow shows the racism and ignorance of Conrad and in fact of the majority of white people in his era, in a more subtle way. Marlow uses words to describe the blacks that, though generally accepted in his time, were slanderous and crude. He recalls that some of the first natives he saw in the Congo looked at him “with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages” (80; part 1). Marlow casually refers to the Africans with the most offensive of language: “Strings of dusty niggers arrived and departed…” (83; part 1). To Marlow, and thus to Conrad, the Africans are savages, dogs, devils, and criminals. Even the stories that Conrad creates for Marlow to narrate are twisted and false. The natives that Marlow deals with in the book are described as cannibals, and they are even given dialogue that affirms th...


... middle of paper ...


...rejudiced and biased assumptions that Heart of Darkness perpetuates.
Written in different times, and through different perspectives, Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart present entirely opposing views of the Victorian Era colonization. Marlow and Kurtz display the racism of white Europeans through both ignorance and cruelty. Okonkwo exemplifies the anger and sorrow that Africans felt at having their homes and customs destroyed. Both authors had personal bias and specific motives when writing their works; though the novels can be independently educational, it is only through the study of both these and other perspectives that clear conclusions can be drawn.



Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. First Anchor Books Edition. New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 1959. Print.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1910. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

- In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo struggles with his chi, or personal god, throughout the story. The fictional novel also depicts the Igbo people worshiping messenger gods to connect with their supreme god. These gods are often depicted through natural phenomena as well as the elements of the earth, making them easily attainable to the Igbo people. When the missionaries come to spread Christianity, they tell the Igbo people that their messenger gods are “gods of deceit” (Achebe 126). The Igbo people are outraged, as they view neglecting the messenger gods as disobeying their ancestors....   [tags: Igbo people, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe]

Strong Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay examples

- Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The last chapter of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" concludes with the sentence: "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." This refers to the District Commissioner's chosen title for a book he has written that would have the African people, the Igbo tribe specifically, as the main subject. From the title itself, one can say that the writer has an unfavorable bias against his subject....   [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart]

Strong Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Media Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Scandal Essay

- Media Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Scandal The 2006 Duke Lacrosse Case brought to light many of the issues and divisions currently plaguing our media sphere. This terrible act of injustice, which blamed three innocent Duke lacrosse players, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans, for the rape of an African-American stripper, garnered extensive media attention that gripped America for almost an entire year (Wasserman, 3). Today, many scrutinze the media’s methods of covering the case, and deem that certain codes of ethics were not adhered to....   [tags: Media Bias]

Strong Essays
1761 words (5 pages)

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- Post colonialism deals with cultural identity in colonized societies and the ways in which writers articulate that identity. Things Fall Apart is a good novel that serves as a reminder of what Nigeria once was. It shows how a society can deal with change, how change affects the individuals of that society, and how delicate a change can be; so much so that the people themselves are surprised at the change. Things Fall Apart is an English novel by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe which was published in 1957....   [tags: things fall apart, chinua achebe]

Strong Essays
3008 words (8.6 pages)

Use of Three Literary Techniques in Things Fall Apart Essay

- In his work Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tells a story describing the decay and destruction of ancient African tradition caused by the invasion of white culture. His tone in the book seems to side and sympathize with the Africans and their religion. Interestingly enough, though, he uses biblical allusion, as well as onomatopoeia and symbolism to bring the book to life and captivate the reader. The following will describe how he uses these. Even though it appears that he sides with Africans and their cultural beliefs, Achebe uses things from outside their religion, such as biblical allusions....   [tags: Essays on Things Fall Apart]

Strong Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Role of Women in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- The role of women in society has grown and changed tremendously with the development of the world. Within the American culture, women’s rights have expanded to the extent of being able to vote for who runs our country or even possibly being the person that does run our country. Although the American culture has somewhat promoted the growth of a woman’s role in society, does not mean women receive the same respect in other cultures around world. For example, in Africa women are viewed lower on the totem pole of importance even though without them the village would fall apart....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Strong Essays
1462 words (4.2 pages)

Religion in Things Fall Apart Essay

- For many people, religion is a very touchy subject. For most, it is a personal decision; people choose a faith that aligns with their beliefs, ideas, and faiths. Although people would like to think that religion is a personal decision, and they can adapt it to how they feel and what they believe, in practice, that is not the case. Religion represents a commitment to a set of principles that are not moldable, adaptable, or flexible. Religion, although it may be a personal belief, it is extremely defined, with little to no room for flexibility....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Strong Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Cultural Comparison Of Things Fall Apart

- Cultural Comparison of Things Fall Apart Even though Things Fall Apart is a fictional novel, it still seems to accurately depict the Igbo culture of that time. Things Fall Apart was written by a Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe (Achebe). Things Fall Apart is set in the country of Nigeria and more specifically, the southeastern portion of Nigeria (“Nigerians” 420). Things Fall Apart is basically about an Igbo tribe in the village of Umuofia. The story focuses on the life of a very wealthy and strong warrior named Okonkwo....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Igbo people, Chinua Achebe]

Strong Essays
2315 words (6.6 pages)

Colonialism and Independence in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- Things Fall Apart - Colonialism and Independence "Turning and turning in the widening gyre The Falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." ~W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming" This excerpt is almost a summary of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Things Fall Apart is a novel about nineteenth century Nigeria, before colonialism and the granting of independence. It is a story of a great wrestler and elder of a Nigerian clan comprised of several villages....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Free Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about An Analysis of Language in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

-      Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born on November 16, 1930 to Isaiah Okafo and Janet Achebe in the very unstable country of Ogidi, Nigeria. He was exposed to missionaries early in his childhood because Ogidi was one of the first missionary centers established in Eastern Nigeria and his father was an evangelist. Yet it was not until he began to study at the University of Ibadan that Achebe discovered what he himself wanted to do. He had grown apalled to the "superficial picture" of Nigeria that many non-Nigerian authors were providing....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Free Essays
1464 words (4.2 pages)