Through the aid of his works, Things Fall Apart being the most influential piece, he was able to challenge previous texts that falsely depicted the African culture. The goal of the colonials and Europeans was to disrupt the African’s way of life. The Africans were essentially just like the white’s, the only difference was the color of their skin. The whites could not accept the fact that they were different, that is why the vandalism of the African culture occurred. Achebe used his work of art, being his novel, to accurately portray the innocent African people in a positive way.
"(Page 29 HOD), and this is a clear evidence that proves how Marlow’s morals have been destroyed as he moves to each station. In conclusion, Heart of Darkness de-humanizes Africans, denies their language and culture and under estimates them by calling them with humiliating names. Heart of Darkness reveals the absolute hypocrisy of Europe. In Europe, colonizing Africa was necessary because it would not only bring wealth to Europe but it would also civilize and educate the “savage” African natives. It shows that the European colonizers used the high ideals of colonization as a cover to allow them to collect whatever wealth they could from Africa.
Perhaps the Heart of Darkness refers to the colonialism and imperialism that the Europeans were practicing at the turn of the 20th century. In the setting that Joseph Conrad gives the characters in the Heart of Darkness, Africa was still greatly unexplored by Europeans. It was thought by many Europeans to be a dark place of savages and strange beasts. As the author Gary Adelman writes in his book Heart of Darkness Search for the Unconscious, "As the journey proceeds from the Coastal Station to Kurtz’s outpost, darkness increasingly becomes associated with savagery, cannibalism, and human sacrifice, with Africans as the embodiment of these ideas" (p.87). Conrad depicts his ideas about Africa in this way as well as through the character of Marlow.
Evidently, Achebe believes Conrad is a racist and his work is a product of his racism; however, I do not agree with this statement. I am familiar with Conrad’s use of the English language to describe the Africans. There is no denying that the Africans do not have a voice as well. However, Achebe is not accepting that this novella is a product of its time. Imperialism gives the colonizers the power to think that they are better than the colonized because the colonizers view the colonized’s country as wrong.
On the other hand we have perception of Africans towards Europeans, African thought of them as superior “creatures” that came to take everything, probably sent by their gods as a punishment of their actions. Under Leopold’s barbarous rule, African’s were forced to work for him, to satisfy Leopold’s desires which turned into an imperialism. His desires were: political (his need of having more colonies to compete with other European nations), economic (exploitation of raw materials), religion (the need to spread Christianity to change their culture), technology (slaves to work on industrial revolution). His desires turn Africa into a land of human rights abuse which in turn turned into an alteration of perception towards Africans.
For example Conrad says, "the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly" (Conrad). This just goes to show that when Conrad is compared to a black man he is discussed because he is racist. One reason we say the Europeans were racist was because they made the blacks be their slaves. The audience can see the people of color doing work for the white people and that just goes to show that they were racist. Women are discriminated throughout this book.
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. This novel, it seems, must be read in a symbolic manner. Objects and characters are not so simple as they seem. Achebe tells us: "Quite simply it is the desire... in Western psychology to set Africa up as a foil to Europe, as a place of negations at once remote and vaguely familiar, in comparison with which Europe's own state of spiritual grace will be manifest" (251-252). If Africa is a foil to Europe, as stated here, then perhaps Conrad only uses the continent of Africa symbolically, without regard to its people - as Achebe himself states, descriptions of Africans as anything more than vague limbs in the darkness are few and far between in the novel.
According to Lois Tyson, the colonizers think that they set up examples for the colonial people, so the colonised people “were considered ‘other’, different, and therefore inferior to the point of being less than fully human” In other words, the colonizers ... ... middle of paper ... ...me greedy. As Gene M. Moor has stated, Conrad hated imperialism in central Africa of its savageness, selfishness and devastation. Kurtz’s final words, ‘the horror’, ‘the horror’, are about how a civilized man can change to savagery when there is no restriction” Therefore, Kurtz can be considered as corruption brought to Africa from Europe. The death of Kurtz can be regarded as subversion of colonialism as it destroys both the colonizers and the colonised people. Heart of Darkness reflects the realities of world in the 19th century, that is Africans suffered and died because of European brutality during slave trading and colonialism.
European Imperialism heavily impacted the African continent through culturally, economic, and political ideas. This era of history is heavily drenched in the aspect of ethnocentrism, which is the belief that one’s own culture is superior that of another. The Europeans colonized Africa believing that they could bring civilization, but they were often ignorant of Africa’s very complex societies. The European powers divided up the continent of Africa among themselves, without any consent from the people who actually lived there. The tribal stratification was changed to a caste system where racial, ethnic, and religious differences were of utmost importance, as delegated by European rule.
This inequality serves as a notice of how ingrained the degradation blacks have induced and to the lengths whites have gone to ensure they remain a lower or sub class. Through out the entire book Jordan makes assumptions and places sort of a personal view on this historical tragedy. He supports the idea that there grew a distinct attitude forming and evolving repressing the African as a society. The most important thing which can be gathered from this book, the idea that the constant and gradual suppression of the African in the colonies and United States led to a mentality of superiority among Caucasians over those of color.