Heart of Darkness

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 45
  • Published : April 15, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
David Denby's "Jungle Fever" was written as a dispute to Chinua Achebe's argument against the significance of Heart of Darkness. Achebe argued that Heart of Darkness supports the dehumanization of Africans which has helped fuel the Western discrimination against Africans. Denby creates an argument of how has significant importance to literature. Denby argues his point through his journey in a college classroom. Denby observes a Literature Humanities class at Columbia College that is reading Heart of Darkness. The instructors name is Professor Shapiro. Denby allows the reader to listen into the classroom discussion. "Who comes from a savage race?” is how the discussion kicks off. A student answered this question, saying "We all come from Africa", that student was also the only African American student in the classroom. Professor Shapiro used this type of rhetorical question, drawn from Heart of Darkness, as a way to challenge everything his students thought they knew about savagery, civilization, and constraints. This is exactly what Conrad was trying to do, challenge his readers and society. This is how Professor Shapiro takes his students on an adventure to find the significance of Heart of Darkness and find themselves. Denby argues how Heart of Darkness has made many contributions to literature. "Its perfectly true that Heart of Darkness contains a few...ambiguous remarks...but how do such remarks matter...what readers remember is the squalor of imperialism". He explains how the overall point of Conrad is not to express his opinions on race but on imperialism. Albeit Conrad seems to show the opinion of Africans at the time, that is not the point. The point is that imperialism is a "rapacious and pitiless folly"
tracking img