Comparing and Contrasting Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

Topics: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Igbo people Pages: 4 (1346 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Melisa Chan
English Language and Literature
Instructor Van Andel
February 1, 2013

Viewing Africa From Two Sides Of A Coin.

There aren’t many novels about the true face of Africa on bookshelves, especially not novels written by an author who knows Africa best during the time of its pre-colonial period. Things Fall Apart is a novel worth reading because it’s eye opener for those with not-very-positive stereotypes of the continent. In fact, it has been said that Things Fall Apart was written as a response to another novel, The Heart of Darkness. This is because in the latter novel, Africa was viewed in a darker light compared to the former novel. Thus, it’s natural that there will be differences and similarities between the two novels. However, assuming that Things Fall Apart being written as a response to The Heart of Darkness is a fact; there will be more differences than similarities among the two novels, especially in terms of its author, point of view, and the perception of the novel towards Africa and how the Africans treated in the novels. One of the aspects in which the two novels have more differences than similarities is the author. In terms of the author, The Heart of Darkness was written by Joseph Conrad, a non-African. He wrote the novel in Europe in 1902. This was during the Victorian Era under the rule of Queen Victoria. Apparently, in Europe, the African continent was viewed as a dark continent. This is perhaps due to the fact that it was compared to Europe itself where everything is civilized and familiar to them whereas Africa was a place of mystery and the unknown. On the other hand, Things Fall Apart was written by Chinua Achebe, an African who wrote this novel much later than Joseph Conrad, which was back in 1958. This novel was written in Africa but published in England, unlike The Heart of Darkness which was written and published in the same continent. In addition, it was written...
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