Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

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My interest in Joseph Conrad is centered around understanding what brought him to the Congo and how the events that transpired there influenced his attitudes in Heart of Darkness. I also wanted to gain a greater understanding of the historical events that led to the colonization of the Congo. This interest is basically grounded in the fact that prior to my exposure to Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart, I knew virtually nothing about what actually led to the colonization of the area. It is my hope that through researching these areas I will have a deeper understanding of the two novels that focused on the Congo.

In the article, "Post-colonial Literatures and Counter-discourse," Helen Tiffin raises a number of issues in regards to the hybridization of the colonized and how European universals invariably clash with that of the native. From the very beginning of the article, Tiffin notes that there is a "call to arms" (so to speak) that encompasses the "demand for an entirely new or wholly recovered 'reality,' free from all colonial taint" (95). This hope is idealistic, especially when evaluating the role that the English language plays in the lives of those who are colonized. Tiffin realizes this fact and views most post-colonial literature as a "counter-discursive" mode of expression that is highly involved in "challenging the notion of literary universality" (96).

The most interesting challenge raised by this European universality is the fact that many post-colonial authors use English as the means to express or disassemble notions of these supposed commonly held mores, thereby creating a hybridized literature. Tiffin notes that in a "canonical counter-discourse . . . [the] post-colo...

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...Victory, an Island Tale, 1915.

Within the Tides, 1915 (contents: "The Partner," 1911; "The Inn of the Two Witches," 1913; "Because of the Dollars," 1914; "The Planter of Malata," 1914).

The Shadow-Line, a Confession, 1917.

The Arrow of Gold, a Story Between two Notes, 1919.

The Rescue: A Romance of the Shallows, 1920.

Notes on Life and Letters, 1921.

The Secret Agent, Drama in Four Acts, 1921 (adaptation of the novel).

The Rover, 1923.

Laughing Anne, a Play, 1923 (adaptation of "Because of the Dollars").

The Nature of a Crime, With Ford Madox Hueffer, 1924 (written in 1908).

Suspense, a Napoleonic Novel, 1925 (incomplete).

Tales of Hearsay, 1925 (contents: "The Black Mate," 1908; "Prince Roman," 1911; "The Tale," 1917; "The Warriors Soul," 1917).

Last Essays, 1926.

The Sisters, 1928 (written in 1896, incomplete).
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