(An Image of Africa, Achebe, 1975) Achebe comments on Conrad’s work as a hidden product of racism because criticisms for Heart of Darkness mask the racism and it is now the way we [critics and readers] see the novella. Achebe’s contempt for the novella is beyond the words of Conrad; it is significantly towards the fact—the novella is not criticized more in the light of Conrad’s racism. Achebe’s comment might holds some truth because I didn’t read Heart of Darkness as a racist text.Personally, I saw it has the disintegration of colonialism. As Achebe suggests “am I a product of white racism?” To answer the question above, I am not a product of white racism because personally, I do not see it as a racist text. When I read Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, the language hinted to racism not from the standpoint of Conrad, but from Marlow,the protagonist and the other major and minor characters.
Achebe Criticisms Essay In 1899, Joseph Conrad published a short work of fiction called Heart of Darkness. This novel is often criticized in literature throughout the world. However, it was not until 1975 when Chinua Achebe gave his famous lecture, “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”, and it is this lecture that became the cornerstone for criticism of Heart of Darkness. Through structure and style, African geography, portrayal of African women, and perception of Africa, Chinua Achebe brings forth the nature of darkness in the novel Heart of Darkness. The first of these criticisms to be discussed is the structure and style of the novel.
In the book Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad; he has caused some controversy among other writers. Chinua Achebe author of An Image of Africa argues that Conrad is a “bloody racist”, and his book dehumanizes Africans. Whereas Wilson Harris the author of The Frontier on Which Heart of Darkness Stands, believes that Conrad is using a novelistic theme, Achebe is misinterpreting Conrad and his novel, and Joseph Conrad is not a racist and his protagonist Marlow is just a character that is part of Conrad’s imagination who comes to life on paper, but do not have any resemblance. Chinua Achebe’s reaction to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, is not a positive response. He believes that Conrad is a racist and writes in a way to make readers believe that racism is okay.
Should one really say it’s such a great novel even if dehumanized another person’s humanity? According to Chinua Achebe a Nigerian novelist, professor and most importantly a critic, no; Chinua Achebe gave a lecture at the University of Massachusetts over Conrad’s novel. In “An Image of Africa” he accuses him of being a racist. My opinion is similar to Achebe’s; I also believe Conrad discriminated Africans in his novel because he regards to Africans as savages and describes them in a horrid way. Within the first few pages in “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness” Achebe expresses his displeasure with Conrad and states he is “no more a great artist than another who may be called a priest who reads the mass backwards or a physician who poisoned his patients” (9).
Heart of Darkness: Racist or not? Many critics, including Chinua Achebe in his essay "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness", have made the claim that Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, despite the insights which it offers into the human condition, ought to be removed from the canon of Western literature. This claim is based on the supposition that the novel is racist, more so than other novels of its time. While it can be read in this way, it is possible to look under the surface and create an interpretation of Conrad's novel that does not require the supposition of extreme racism on the part of Conrad. Furthermore, we must keep in mind that Conrad was a product of a rather racist period in history, and it seems unfair to penalize him for not being able to transcend his contemporaries in this respect.
How does Achebe's personal history and the context in which he wrote "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" reflect the manner in which he views Conrad's idea of racism in the novel? 3. Taking into account Achebe's assumptions and analysis of racism in Heart of Darkness, how does this change Conrad's novel as a literary work, if it does at all? The literal heart of darkness in Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness does not merely incorporate the Belgian Congo, the African savages, the journey to the innermost soul, and England as the corruptor in its attempted colonization of the African people for selfish and commercial purposes. In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness ," Achebe accuses Conrad of racism as the essential "heart of darkness."
Marlow contemplates... ... middle of paper ... .... This is showing the European notion of the belief of Africa to be a highly inferior land. Again, Joseph Conrad allows for a major juxtaposition which easily lets readers comprehend the struggle of Marlow to accept the savage natives as human like himself. Through the direct comparison of the white men as saviors of Africa, Joseph Conrad excludes the natives by presenting them as weak. With extremely deprecating language and poor representation, Joseph Conrad silences the native Africans in Heart of Darkness by glorifying the savagery and inferiority of the natives as compared to the whites.
It is our brain the separates people from animal, so when I think someone’s oppinons or thoughts aren’t important I am really treating unlike a person but more like an animal. These quotes are a proof of the dehumanization methods Conrad uses towards the Africans. However, Conrad no... ... middle of paper ... ...ngs and by lies then there is no point in living, because it isn’t an honest life. There is nothing for sure and you live in a world of doubt. You maybe wondering, what does this quote have to do with dehumanization?
hrmmm Perhaps Marlow's decision to lie to the Intended was in recognition that when the product of two completely different worlds collide, things start to fall apart. The Ivory of Africa corrupts the Europeans. The isolation of the wilderness removes Kurtz's restraint. Throughout the novella, Conrad also associates Europeans with being "in the dark" about the true nature of the exploitation within Africa. Perhaps Marlow, recognizing this, realizes that the dark horrors of Africa have no place in European society.
Recognizing the truths in society and disregarding the false accusations from outside forces. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart questions and challenges the previous literary discussions from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and other colonial texts by constituting a new perspective of African history and beliefs through the use of argumentative, narrative, and linguistic strategies. Although Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" does dispute the morality of European imperialism in Africa, racism is still showcased by the Europeans at this time. An example is the relationship between his African American cousins with the biblical symbols of the evil night. Throughout Heart of Darkness, sin is portrayed by the images of darkness and Christianity and enlightenment is portrayed by the light in the novel.