Heart of Darkness/Things Fall Apart

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Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" share many similarities and differences. One similarity is the way that Europeans treat the Africans as inhuman. Another similarity is how in despair the Africans resort to death to deal with what Western culture has brought to them. A difference in the books is that in "Heart of Darkness" the Europeans were already settled into Africa while in "Things Fall Apart" the Europeans don't settle until later. Another difference is that women aren't talked about as having much of a role in "Heart of Darkness" as compared to "Things Fall Apart".

Both books share the idea that Europeans treat Africans as inhuman and inferior. In "Heart of Darkness," it is stated, "They would have been even more impressive, those heads on the stakes, if their faces had not been turned to the house" (Conrad 57). The Europeans had the heads of the Africans on poles, showing how they treated Africans as their own little play toys. The Africans didn't get a burial but instead are shown off as inhuman and detached from the rest of their body. Also in "Heart of Darkness," Kurtz's pamphlet reads, "Suppression of Savage Customs" (Conrad 71). They are referring to the African customs or ideals as being primitive and inhuman. Kurtz's pamphlet here is revealing how the Europeans need to get rid of African customs and bring in their ideals. The Africans are barbaric and need to be taught a new way of life. Similarly, in "Things Fall Apart," the District Commissioner reveals that he is going to write a book. The title of it says, "The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger" (Achebe p.148). Here the Commissioner is going to write a book on how the Europeans submissed and removed the primitive tribes of Africa. This shows how unremorseful Europeans are. They didn't care for or try and understand the African customs. They saw through their mindsets of western culture that the Africans are these inferior, primitive people who...
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