After a journey into the dark history of Europe and Africa with Sven Lindqvist, I found myself shocked. It’s earth shattering. Ideas and historical events are presented through a journal/proposal of his unique view on racism. Lindqvist raises questions as to where racism was spurred and why what happened in late 1800’s and early 1900’s lead to the holocaust. Including religion, personal human values, advanced warfare and even societies’ impact as a whole. His travels through the Sahara and Africa in the early chapters show a more current day view of society over seas. The description of the desolate continent and harsh conditions paints a picture of what previous civilization lived through. He explains that part of the reason he has traveled to the desert is to feel the space all around him, a definite emptiness if you will. As his travels progress he introduces his own family life that pertains to the human emotion, which is also a big focus point in this book. Childhood beatings over taking the lord’s name in vain, dropped calls from his daughter that leave him torn and sad. He does an excellent job on taking the reader on a personal journey with him through his current day traveling and even his early life. Linking these personal experiences and tying in histories misconceptions of “right and wrong” is what makes this book so valuable. Lindqvist gives a relevant and educated answer to the question of how racism became such a terrible tribulation in all parts of the world. Is it possible to live without fear of death? If you can, does it change your life and who you are as a whole? Lindqvist believes so. Early in the book he proposes the idea that with fear of death life has a deeper meaning. That only with the fear of death do... ... middle of paper ... ...use of the lagging mental growth of certain peoples. What Lindqvist sought from this book was imply to give a more wholesome answer as to where the reasoning behind it came from. He does not propose any ideas to fix it, or even hope that it will one day not exist. I too cannot fathom a day where everyone views each other as equal. Beautiful and utopic would it be. Yet my logical side of the brain will not let me believe in it. Primitive thoughts and actions will always exist, as we all were once much more animals than we are now. The evolution now is not physical but mental. Can the world as a whole ever completely and peacefully coexist? I trust that it is the ultimate goal, and understanding our history gives us the leg up to do so. Just as Lindvqist says, “It is not knowledge we lack. What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and draw conclusions”.
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David W. Blight's book Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the American Civil War, is an intriguing look back into the Civil War era which is very heavily studied but misunderstood according to Blight. Blight focuses on how memory shapes history Blight feels, while the Civil War accomplished it goal of abolishing slavery, it fell short of its ultimate potential to pave the way for equality. Blight attempts to prove that the Civil War does little to bring equality to blacks. This book is a composite of twelve essays which are spilt into three parts. The Preludes describe blacks during the era before the Civil War and their struggle to over come slavery and describes the causes, course and consequences of the war. Problems in Civil War memory describes black history and deals with how during and after the war Americans seemed to forget the true meaning of the war which was race. And the postludes describes some for the leaders of black society and how they are attempting to keep the memory and the real meaning of the Civil War alive and explains the purpose of studying historical memory.
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.
The Heart of Darkness, a complex text was written by Joseph Conrad around the 19th century, when Europeans were colonizing Africa for wealth and power and were attempting to spread their culture and religion in Africa. It was also a period in which women were not allowed to participate in worldly affairs. Therefore, the text deals with issues such as racism, European imperialism, and misogyny. This essay will look at the different themes in the novel and argue whether or not The Heart of Darkness is a work of art.
Joseph Conrad’s s novel “Heart of Darkness” portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as “so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness”, (Conrad 2180) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were scattered all over the world. This phenomenon and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of “Heart of Darkness” publication. Very few people saw anything amiss with colonialism in Africa and the African people. From a Eurocentric point of view, colonialism was the natural next-step in any powerful countries political agenda. The colonizers did not pay heed to the native peoples in their territories, nor did they think of the natives as anything but savages. In the “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad uses Marlow to contradict the acts of man and the destruction they brought forth to Africa and their people. Conrad shows, through fiction, that the blindness and lack of morality in Africa allowed for the release of the darkness from the hearts of the colonists.
In the present era of decolonization, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness presents one of fictions strongest accounts of British imperialism. Conrad’s attitude towards imperialism and race has been the subject of much literary and historical debate. Many literary critics view Conrad as accepting blindly the arrogant attitude of the white male European and condemn Conrad to be a racist and imperialists. The other side vehemently defends Conrad, perceiving the novel to be an attack on imperialism and the colonial experience. Understanding the two viewpoints side by side provides a unique understanding that leads to a commonality that both share; the novel simply presents a criticism of colonialists in Africa. The novel merely portrays a fictional account of British imperialism in the African jungle, where fiction offers maximum entertainment it lacks in focus. The novel is not a critique of European colonialism and imperialism, but rather a presentation of colonialism and the theme of darkness throughout the novel sheds a negative light on the selfishness of humanity and the system that was taking advantage of the native peoples. In Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness, Conrad presents a criticism of British imperial colonization not for the purpose of taking sides, but with aims of bettering the system that was in place during Conrad’s experience in the African Congo. Conrad uses the character of Marlow and his original justification of imperialism so long as it was efficient and unselfish that was later transformed when the reality of colonialism displayed the selfishness of man, to show that colonialism throughout history displaces the needs of the mother country over the colonized peoples and is thus always selfish.
The fear of death and appearance of death is a stressor that many of us have. As Kayne West once said,“Nothing in life is promised except death.” Most fear death, even though it is inevitable. This makes one wonder, if death happens to everyone, why do we all fear it? We fear death for many reasons: The fear of the unknown, the fear of being alone, and the fear of what happens when we are deceased. In the book “As I Lay Dying,” Faulkner describes the fear and appearance of death as experienced by the Bundren family.
The unknown is something human can’t wrap their heads around so like mystery humans try to figure it out, to discover it so that mankind may not be fearful of death. In doctor Macknees’ paper “Is there Life after Birth?” he examines the fears of death and how it’s related to humans fear of living. The three topics being fear of what happens after death, fears related to the process of dying, and fears of the loss of life. Each topic has 3 subtopics that go deeper into the thoughts that many may have as death approaches them or fears for the future. The three that connected the most to me would be under the topic of fears related to loss of life, subtopics fear of mastery, fear of incompleteness or failure, and fear of separation. In my last paragraph about death I will go deeper into my thoughts behind these and their relation to my fears of life as described by Charles Macknee. Death as described by the class of Psychology and spirituality is the end of all that is familiar and entering into something beyond our control but also beyond what our minds can comprehend. Death is something I think many of us don’t want to confront, whetherits our own or it’s a loved ones. I know that it is something I never like talking about or thinking
Many things in life take place in making us into who each of us are. Our past experiences, how we perceive things, and even how our parents raise us while we are growing up, are all believed to take a part of being an individual person. Otto Rank brought the concepts of life, and death to our attention which raises more questions about how we work as humans. Does fear take a part of making you who you are? Or does it deprive you of who you have the chance of becoming? Otto Rank did his best to explain how we, as humans actually perceive life, and death, and how fear can counteract our views, and actions. He searched for a way for humans to find out how to completely balance our lives to keep us satisfied as individuals, and in multiple different relationships.
In “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”, Chinua Achebe says that “it is the desire¬—one might indeed say the need—in Western psychology to set Africa up as a foil to Europe” (337). Indeed it is wise for Achebe to make this claim while discussing Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a short novel that presents the relationship between Europe and Africa as an entirely one-sided narrative which denies the African people their right to personage. For a majority of the novel, Marlow’s narration of a story goes so above and beyond telling one narrative, that it works toward preventing the African people from developing a voice of their own. Edward Said, in Culture and Imperialism, provides perhaps the most efficient explanation as to how the narrative that Marlow tells in the novel works against the African people:
...ording to Heidegger, become fearful of the prospect of death. He argues the correct response to death in one’s life is a form of ‘brave anxiety’ (Heidegger, pge 310, 1978). There is a distinction between this anxiety and outright fear towards death, where fear is attached to some object, person or idea (in this case the prospect of death). Anxiety involves what Heidegger describes as an ‘impassioned freedom towards death’ (Heidegger, pge 310, 1978) due to the fact anxiety is concerned with human freedom or lack thereof regarding choices we cannot make. As pointed out earlier death is out of our control and therefore should be regarded with anxiety rather than outright fear of something we cannot control. Heidegger seeks to explain death in these ways because he wishes to explore how the anxiety of death is related to being, not due to some kind of morbid curiosity.
Darkness. It pervades every corner of this world, casting literal and metaphorical shadow over everything. Creeping in the hearts of humans, drifting across the night sky, under the bed, darkness is a terrifying, yet quintessential concept in our human mentality. And, as such, it presents itself in cultures and stories around the world to explain the unknown and the terrifying. Through the presentation of the struggle with internal and external “darkness,” both Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart draw upon contrasting viewpoints and cultures, as well as an ironic play of “darkness” between the Europeans and the Africans, to construe the tragedy unfolding in Colonial Africa.
King Leopold II of Belgium is known for being one of the most brutal racists in history. His inhumane treatment of Africans in the Congo was revealed in photographs that surfaced and that were taken to emphasize his cruel behavior over the Africans in the Congo. His motive for this inhumanity was pure greed. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, although does not embody the vicious behavior of King Leopold II, contributes to the racism of that period in other ways. Because of this, the novel can be interpreted in different ways from a racism standpoint. In my opinion, I both agree and disagree with Chinua Achebe’s statements concerning Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and feel that it can be viewed in some ways as both racist or not racist.
Our world has been plagued by racism before biblical times. Two of the most inhumane outgrowths of racism are detribalization and slavery. During the nineteenth-century European Imperialism, racism led to many acts of inhumanity by Europeans, particularly in Africa. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness presents us with a fictional account of these inhumane acts in Africa illustrating that racism and its outgrowths are the most cruel examples of man's inhumanity to man.