Heart Of Darkness Analysis

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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. “Joseph Conrad was a thoroughgoing racist… white racism against Africa is such a normal way of thinking that its manifestations go completely unremarked.” Achebe describes Conrad and his novel to be both racist and dehumanizing against Africans, and Conrad makes it come off as something that is normal. Wilson Harris writes in his piece that he believes Achebe’s way of arguing Heart of darkness is over the top: but I am convinced his judgment or dismissal of Heart of Darkness-and of Conrad's strange genius-is a profoundly mistaken one. He sees the distortions of imagery and, therefore, of character in the novel as witnessing to horrendous prejudice on Conrad's part in his vision of Africa and Africans (86). Harris argues that Achebe is misunderstand the novel and author, and is over analyzing Conrad’s “imagination” and his making it into a bias issue. I believe Achebe takes a drastic measure to propose that Heart of Darkness should not be studied or read in classroom.... ... middle of paper ... ...of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and unselfish belief in the idea. (282) He does mention that is it a long quote; but it is necessary so we can get a full understanding that the character and author are two separate people. “A long quotation but necessary in that it again separates author from character.” (282) Heart of Darkness is a well known novel written by an important writer, and is read, studied and discussed in classrooms. Although the book was praised by some; there was some controversy among others. In some part I do believe that Achebe is over analyzing the novel, and is just assuming based on what he has read like Wilson Harris and C.P. Sarvan have stated in their piece. But the other part of me believes that Achebe does make a point, I don’t agree that Conrad is a racist; but there must have been a motive for his writing of this book.

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