Postcolonial Literature: Uncovering Western Myths

1296 Words6 Pages
Africa has been the embodiment of european perspectives before and after the Colonialism; these perspectives have attempted to provide insights on the facts behind it. In those terms, Africa has been reduced an atmosphere of concepts such as deep darkness, mystery, and madness, a place in which attrocities arise at any time of the day, and people are savages and chaotic. From that colonialist viewpoint, Africa was a place that needed help and control urgently in order to save it form itself and civilize it; therefore, white European men felt the need of accomplishing this mission and bring civilization to black men, which only meant to do thing as Europeans did. In Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1993), these European visions are portraited to such an extent that makes us understand that to unveil the heart of Africa we first need to be expose to their attrocities, and realise that we will always fail to do it because the chaos would consume us as well. Achiebe says it himself “Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as "the other world," the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where man's vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant beastiality.” (Achebe, 1977) This is one of the many issues that postcolonialism argues and confronts as a lie, since African history has only been told from the colonizer's viewpoint overshadowing the perspectives and voices of the colonized. Chinua Achebe, on the other hand, was the first writer to actually tell the story from the eyes of the African communities through his novel Things Fall Apart, more especifically, nigerian tribes. In this essay, I will attempt to analyze from a postcolonial approach themes present in the novel such as identity, ...

... middle of paper ... Fall Apart helps us to shed light on the darkness produced by the colonizer's actions and further literature, because there was never darkness on Africa; the darkness was brought by the westerns and their complex of superiority.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. (1977) "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'" Massachusetts Review. 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough, London: W. W Norton and Co. Retrieved from
Achebe, C. (1994) Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books.
Conrad, J. (1993). Heart of Darkness. New York: Knopf.
Guthrie, A. (2011). Language and Identity in Postcolonial African Literature: A Case Study of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Retrieved from
Walcott, D. (1986) A Far Cry From Africa. Collected Poems, 1948-1984. New York: Farrar, Straus.
Open Document