The prejudices made by the Europeans are evident throughout Conrad’s novel, however, two books have counteracted that idea and tried to prove the well developed society that exists all over Africa. Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton and Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, both focus on debunking the stereotypes of Africa. Paton and Achebe both explore the concept that Africa does have culture but are slowly losing it due to the settlement of whites. However, Paton implements the idea of white savior complex which is the idea that only whites can help the blacks regain establishment. As Conrad creates the atmosphere that Africa is seen as limited, in contrast, Paton and Achebe criticize it by... Joseph Conrad primarily perceives the westerners’ attitudes towards Africans similarly like most Europeans who believe they are higher and more developed.
The concept of African literature has been very polemical. Some writers even refute its existence and regard it as a utopia due to the linguistic and content challenges. In this context, Obiajunwa Wali, through his article the Dead End of African Literature, strives to bring an answer to the question “which language should be employed in African literature?”. Wali emphasizes the lack of creativity engendered by the use of western languages and on the promotion of African ones. Indeed, he mentions, “Until these writers and their western midwives accept that any true African literature must be written in African Languages, they would be merely pursuing a dead end” (1).
It sought to dehumanise the African people. Thus, the dawn of African Literature was in response to the denigrations, history and myths constructed about Africa in conjunction with the colonial enterprise by European authors. This essay is an evaluation of whether African literature has been successful in reclaiming the stories of Africa. It will assume the that stance through the reiteration of African experiences through African characters; African literature has indeed managed to reclaim its stories. To consolidate that stance, the essay will be based on the analysis of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s A Private Experience and Njabulo S. Ndebele’s The Prophetess.
“Things Fall Apart”, a novel written by Chinua Achebe about Africa through the character Okonkwo, a man who Achebe uses to illustrate the complexity Igbo culture, contrary to what the Europeans portrayed Africa as. One main focus of the book is to counter the single story, which is the idea that an area is represented by one story, similar to a stereotype. However, differing from a stereotype a single story often completely misrepresents something, and in this case Africa. Europeans had been the only ones writing about Africa, describing all the culture as problematic for being different, rather than looking at what African culture really is. Achebe was one of the first to write about African culture for westerners to read about, making Things Fall Apart a true innovation in writing.
“There is no future without a past, because what is to be cannot be imagined except as a form of repetition” (Hustvedt, 2011). Before the emergence of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Hugh Trevor-Roper had claimed that African history did not exist (Achebe, 1997). As such, Things Fall Apart was Achebe’s way of historicizing Africa, proving to Trevor that the history of Africa did exist even before the arrival of the Europeans. However, Joseph Conrad had already attempted to achieve the same feat in Heart of Darkness, which condemns the evils of imperial exploitation in Africa. That notwithstanding, Achebe in “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’” pinpointed how indiscriminately Conrad embedded his narrative in a yarn of racism that craftily reinforces a damaging ideology of Africa as “"the other world," the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization” (Achebe, 1997).
New Imperialism in Africa “Judging from the experience of the European War, imperialism renders no great benefit to any nation, whereas liberty for all nationalities is the only principle by which humanity will ever be saved,” Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China, emphasizes destruction created by the introduction of imperialism in Africa. As a part of the Republic of China, Yat-sen provided an unbiased opinion towards the conflicts that were occurring in different regions of the world. From periodization Five, 1750 to 1900, to periodization Six, 1900 to present day, imperialism contributed to the continuous suffering of Africans due to the Europeans domination of political, economic, and cultural affairs in Africa. It
In Wizard of the Crow, Ngugi blends satire and polemic in his depiction of an African nation at crossroads in the aftermath of the white rule. Essentially a realist work, the author uses his peculiar style and language to sniff out the foul stenches of complacency towards despotism, repression of women and ethnic minorities, widespread corruption and – under girding of all these – a neocolonial system in which today’s lending banks and multinationals have supplanted yesterday’s European overlords. References are made to Ngugi’s skilful use of literary and linguistic approaches to x-ray the ideational, interpersonal and textual functions which the text fulfils as a realist literature. At the end, this paper’s main contribution is to firmly
In this essay he notoriously says, “ … Joseph Conrad was a thoroughgoing racist. That this simple truth is glossed over in criticisms of his work is due to the fact that white racism against Africa is such a normal way of thinking that its manifestations go completely unremarked.” (Achebe 343). Achebe’s prominent essay that blatantly describes Conrad’s depictions of the African people in the novella as racist. From this essay forward it seems that the academic discussion has continued and academics still argue to this day whether Conrad’s descriptions are overtly racist or is that these descriptions are merely representative of the time that it was written. In another important essay response to Heart of Darkness Edward Said not only discusses the novella but responds to Achebe’s essay challenging whether or not Conrad’s words represent overt racism as Achebe states.
This post-colonial novel is ideologically written to represent African colonized culture to the world; it outlines the aspect of the colonial and post-colonial condition and also its many consequences particularly the loss of the many traditions of Africa. Achebe in an answer to the interviewer’s question declared:” Many of us engaged Africa’s past, stepping back into what can be referred to as the “era of purity” before the coming of Europe. What we discovered we put in books and that became known widely as “African Culture.”” This very famous novel is widely read by readers in many different
RALPH ELLISON’S INVISIBLE MAN: A CULTURAL RESISTANCE Amrutha T V Guest Faculty Sreekrishna College, Guruvayur ABSTRACT: African-American writers of fiction have always been pre occupied with racial themes and cultural legacies. This is due to their history of enslavement and colonization. The variety of races thrown together has created a melting-pot and the writers often tend to focus on racial prejudice and colour hierarchies. They have been subject to some of the worst fonts of physical, political, social and educational deprivation. It is comparable to the Dalit and tribal situation in India.