Things Fall Apart vs. Heart of Darkness

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  • Topic: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Africa
  • Pages : 4 (1605 words )
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  • Published : November 18, 2010
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African Colonization through Literature: Things Fall Apart Vs. Heart of Darkness

History is an extraordinary mix of truth and fiction. The dichotomy that is bred from different historic al perspectives opens the eyes of those who study history to the semi-fabricated nature of much of humanities past. For most of recorded history, events have been recorded and retold through the eyes of the victors. Only recently have people had the opportunity to view both sides of issues. The Western practice of free speech has allowed both victors and victims to tell their tal es. A glimmering example of differences in historical opinion pertains to the colonization of Africa by Europeans. For years the commonly accepted notion about Africa was that its inhabitants were lesser people that lacked intelligence and were in desperate need of European aid. Furthermore, some people believed that it was somehow the duty of the “superior” white man to spread his ideas to the lesser people of the world. This philosophy is manifested tangibly in such Western writings as Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The White Man’s Burden by Rudyard Kipling. The strongest counter argument to this idea comes from the African native and distinguished writer Chinua Achebe. His novel, Things Fall Apart, provides an in depth glance into the diversity and character of the African culture and the atrocities of the white man forcing their beliefs upon the natives. By comparing these different works it is possible to gain a better understanding of both perspectives and thereby gain a better understanding of the truth of African colonization.

At the dawn of the nineteenth century there was a “gold” rush of sorts. The nations of Europe, and their treasuries, were growing faster than the continent could handle. Political tensions yielded the quest for greater and greater power and because Europe herself could not sustain this thirst the leaders of Europe decided to extend their spheres of...
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