Summary 5 Authoritative Articles “Racism in Heart of Darkness”
Chinua Achebe's article "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'" was basically written about the racism Achebe encountered in “Heart of Darkness”. Achebe criticizes Joseph Conrad for his racist stereotypes towards the continent and people of Africa. Achebe claims that Conrad spread the image that people imagined rather than portraying Africa in its true form. Africans were shown in “Heart of Darkness” as savages with no way to speak other than grunting. To Conrad, the Africans were not real characters in his story, but were backgrounds or props. Chinua Achebe responded with his own novel, “Things Fall Apart”: it was a contrast to Heart of Darkness and comparable works by other European writers. In “Things Fall Apart”, Achebe tells the story of Okonkwo, an Ibo man who is actually represented as a functioning person. Africans are represented as actual individuals with intelligence and a language, not just one massive conglomerate of dumb thoughtless natives. Their customs are not regarded as crazy and foreign, but as normal everyday life no different than the assortment of Western customs. And the land itself is described as a mix of towns and farms, not a foreign dangerous land. In basically every way, “Things Fall Apart” challenges typecasts set forward in Heart of Darkness. Overall it is a useful article that contains a good amount of information and I would recommend it to other students.
Suzanne Fields wrote an article on the racism in “Heart of Darkness” she actually defended Conrad. She thought that although, he wrote about racist things he presented in the way that was the norm at the time. She stated that it wasn’t racist because that was how people perceived them not because he had anything against them racially. Suzanne felt that his observations can’t be called racist because that was only how he saw it. It was informative and I would tell other students to read the...
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