`` Things Fall Apart `` By Susan Andrade

1268 Words6 Pages
Things Fall Apart was written in response to Heart of Darkness in 1958, therefore, Things Fall Apart automatically has contrasting themes, symbols, and characters that are meant to oppose those set in Conrad’s novella. With the growing popularity of African literature, critics began to question the realism portrayed in each work. Viewing this situation through this lens raises questions about what would be a truthful depiction and what would be a biased depiction. Analyzing this situation through mimeticism and realism, is one way in which this could be observed. In Susan Andrade’s novel, A Forum on Fiction 42.2, she states: “Mimeticism was the order of the day, and because it was then bound up with rationality and freedom struggles, the form mimeticism took was realism, the narrative mode for telling stories of the subjugation of rational people. Realism has often been understood rather simply as unmediated representation, and within African novelistic criticism it was so represented until the late 1980s” (2009, p. 183). In African literature, the way in which the author portrays the native tribes gives way to what instances in their novel portray absolute truths, what is exaggerated, or even fictional. So through this excerpt, it is evident that mimeticism was a way in which a story was told with a group that is more dominate over the other. This can be seen through Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Andrade states above that realism was “unmediated representation” which could possibly be seen through the beginning of Things Fall Apart before the arrival of the European missionaries. However, some aspects may be exaggerated in both works since they are works of fiction, it may have been based loosely on their observations. As Conrad w... ... middle of paper ... ...duced to a piece of Africa before European colonialism. In “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’”, Achebe questions, “. . .whether a novel which celebrate this dehumanization [of Africa], which depersonalizes a portion of the human race, can be called a great work of art. My answer is: No, it cannot” (Achebe, p. 256). Hence, the creation of Things Fall Apart. Achebe chose to discredit the entire purpose of the white man’s burden because in his eyes the tribes were not savage, but instead held a different order that was held up by a different set of beliefs. He essentially depicts native Africans in a more identifiable manner, so that the reader can appreciate the African customs. He also frames his novel so that you root for the natives against the missionaries because in this perspective the missionaries brought chaos and instability to Africa.

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