Comparison of Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country and Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1344 Words3 Pages

In Cry, the beloved country, Alan Paton tells the story of his journey across Africa, his experiences with the colonized Africa, and the destruction of the beautiful, pre-colonialism native land of Africa. Heart of Darkness also tells the story of a man and his experiences with colonialism, but a man who comes from a different time period and a very different background than Alan Paton’s Stephen Kumalo. Although, both Joseph Conrad and Alan Paton portray the colonized areas as very negative, death filled, and sinful places, it is when one analyzes the descriptions of the native lands of Africa that the authors reasons for their disapproval of colonialism are truly revealed. When comparing the writing styles of Alan Paton and Joseph Conrad, their descriptions of the land and the people in both works reveal their different attitudes and views towards colonialism. While Paton and Conrad ultimately oppose colonialism, Paton is concerned with the disappearance of African tribal tradition, whereas Conrad is concerned with the perceived corruption of the white colonists. There are many contributors to the different attitudes and viewpoints projected by Paton and Conrad including the time period they were born in and their different backgrounds. Alan Paton and Joseph Conrad come from different time periods, which meant very different periods of colonialism. Joseph Conrad began writing Heart of Darkness in in 1890, during the beginning stages of colonialism, after he began his own journey through the heart of Africa. Alan Paton, on the other hand, began writing his novel in 1947 when he began to see the effects of colonialism affecting his own home. The difference in time between the books may have had an affect on the outlook of the... ... middle of paper ... there are no major differences between black and white, there is only the divine and magnificent land. After exploring the backgrounds of Joseph Conrad and Alan Paton, we realize the differences in their upbringings and how that may have had an effect on their outlooks of Africa. These authors grew up in completely different settings in completely different time periods; Joseph Conrad in a predominantly white area amongst those who would be the colonists of Africa in the future, and Alan Paton in the Africa itself amongst those who the colonization affected most greatly. These factors contribute to the different viewpoints that are apparent in their respective works. From analyzing the content of their writings, it is apparent that, although, both authors have the same overall opinion of colonialism, these opinions are due to two very different reasons.

Open Document