Essay on We Can't Pretend like Racism did not Occur

Essay on We Can't Pretend like Racism did not Occur

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As I walked into class, I saw in bold letters “RACISM” written on the board, I wasn’t fond of this topic. Racism was a dark part of human history, and it brings about many emotions and anger towards people that choose to be racist. One student asked the teacher “why should we hear these stories about the suffering these people went through?” She responded “If we choose to forget what happened, then we won’t know about our past, we can’t pretend like racism didn’t occur, or should we? We should remember how Africans fought and how they progressed even thought the world was against them for some quite time.” As I sat there listening, I imagined the suffering and the criticism given to humans just like us, and it made me feel they’re emotion and pain. Then realization hit, we hear very vivid and sad stories about racism, but not to be racist ourselves, but to show the reason it’s bad and inhumane. If racism was showed as not hurting anyone, then why would anyone care to stop? When you describe racism, people tend to believe you, yourself believes in these things, but what they don’t see is the image you’re trying to show. (US History Colonial to 1877, Fall2013) This story came to mind when I read of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Before analyzing Heart of Darkness, I would have called this book racist completely; Conrad downgrades the Africans in the Congo without hiding it none the less. He chooses very specific words to describe the Africans, but he chose not to hide these comments. We as readers can’t specify why an author would write in the way they do, but we can choose to see the physical versus the meaning towards it. With this said, Heart of Darkness’s content is seen physical to people, they choose to see the writing, ...


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...ialism, or is he a pioneering early critic of the blindness and cruelty of colonial practices?” It’s up to you now to choose your path. Will Conrad we considered a hero for writing such a compelling text, or will he be accused of racism?



Works Cited

Achebe, C. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Heart of Darkness. By Joseph Conrad. Ed. Paul B. Armstrong. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. 336-49. Print.

Conrad, J. Heart of Darkness. Ed. Paul B. Armstrong. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. Print.

Miller, J.H. “Should we read “Heart of Darkness.” Heart of Darkness. By Joseph Conrad. Ed. Paul B. Armstrong. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. 463-74. Print.

Orwell, O. “Shooting an Elephant.” One Hundred Great Essays. By Robert Diyanni. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008. 531-37. Print.

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