In Basil Davidson’s video, “Different but Equal”, Davidson examines ancient Africa, and how Africans were perceived in ancient and modern times. Davidson discusses pre-colonized Africa and its history, and how racism prevailed in the past and in modern day. By discussing early civilizations, as well as modern day perspectives, Davidson allows the viewer to have expansive information on how individuals view Africans and their culture. In Davidson’s video, he discusses how people in the past have viewed Africa and African culture, and how that relates to our perception of Africa in modern times.
Nature of Human and Savage Man Thomas Hobbes is a philosopher who wrote Leviathan and claims that men are equal when they were in natural condition. Jean Jack Rousseau is another philosopher who claims men are composed of two classes when the state was established: poor and rich. At first blush, Hobbes and Rousseau is appearing too different since they have been. Namely, However, equality causes evil in Hobbes ' theory. However, in Rousseau 's inequality, there is benevolence.
Saint Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, even though approximately fourteen hundred years comes between their existences, similarly commenced on a journey to find their respective individual truths; which are portrayed through their identically named autobiographical works, Confessions. They each relate their “eudemonistic explorations” (Naugle 1) which are alike in intention but exceedingly dissimilar in representation. Augustine’s Confessions portrays a “story of his self discovery and salvation, which traced the source of evil and searched for the truth along a life journey, in which he found himself, a sinner of God” (Lam 3). Rousseau’s confessions portray a similar path of “self discovery in which he found himself a good man and the
This negative portrayal of Africa began with early scholars and went on until the 19th century during the time of African colonization. In the 12th century for instance, a scholar by the name Benjamin ben Jonah characterized Africans as “people who eat of the herbs that grow on the banks of the Nile and on the fields. They go about naked and have not the intelligence of ordinary men. They cohabit with their sisters and anyone they can find….And these are black slaves, the sons of Ham.”
All of these attributes that made the Africans different from the Europeans, were used as tools to justify their mistreatment. If someone is looked at as ugly or inhuman, they do not deserve to be treated as human. If someone doesn’t deserve to be treated as human, it does not rest on the conscience of the oppressors when they are unjust toward
Moreover, Western civilization became the ideal civilization, and became way superior to African “civilization.” As a consequence, African tradition became perceived as primitive, outmoded, and sadly not welcomed by the rest of the world. Unfortunately, a lot of Africans experienced a trend of a dying out culture. (2) It can be implied that even the Africans’ self-perception dropped because the only lifestyle they knew was suddenly taken away from them and they were taught that it was substandard. Therefore, the indigenous inhabitants of the colonies, the Africans, had to adapt to a new, “superlative” culture and view it as more sophisticated than theirs.
This greed grew strong and grew into the establishment of imperialism through the use of slavery. While the greed is still growing the English have know lost all of their moral value and have cast aside the meaning of life for the Natives of the Congo. This hunger of greed allowed the civilized to become the uncivilized “savages” they paint the Natives to be. Mr. Kurtz is the man that the english view as the idol in a way but dies seeing “The Horror”(154) of all the darkness the “light”(68) has made. Works Cited Qu, Caie.
“The White Man’s Burden.” In the excerpt from his book, Morel clearly stated that “it is [the Africans] that carry the Black man’s burden.” Indeed, he argued that before white men invaded their land, Africans “have not withered away before.” With his writing, Morel aimed to report and describe
Rousseau, one of the most leading philosophers during the Enlightenment, had indeed left many of legendries behind. Not only his writings had caused many of the reactions at that time, but also influenced many writers’ aspects of the French Revolution and the overall understanding of inequality and the General Will. As one of the chief political theorists during the French Revolution who was also influenced by Rousseau’s ideas, Abbe Sieyes, published the pamphlet, “What is the Third Estate?” in 1789. This pamphlet was one of the documents that changed the world and lit the flame toward the French Revolution, as characterized by Joe Janes, a University of Washington professor (Janes). It derived many of its ideas from Rousseau’s “The Social
This comparison of the colonizers to robbers and murderers is based off of his experience in the Congo, where the idea of do-gooders was disproved and replaced with a much harsher truth of the European colonizer’s selfishness and corrupt
The main character, Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s 1910 novel The Heart of Darkness begins his journey into Africa skeptical of what might occur, but naive to the true horrors that were in stake for the young man. Marlow’s detailed descriptions of the sights and torturous actions towards the natives he witnesses along his journey lead to many literary critics to deem Conrad a racist. One author notorious for calling Joseph Conrad out on his racist remarks is Chinua Achebe who gained fame from his article “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”.
The autobiography, The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, provides a vivid insight into the complicated, yet exhilarating, life of Rousseau. The beginning of his life was filled with misfortunes, such as the death of his mother which was quickly followed by a distraught and self-sabotaging attitude which his father adopted. This led to his father’s involvement in illegal behaviors and the subsequent abandonment of Rousseau. His mother’s death was the catalyst for his journey to meet multiple women who would later affect his life greatly. The Influence of Miss Lamberciers, Madame Basile, Countess de Vercellis, and Madam de Warens on the impressionable adolescent mind of Rousseau led to the positive cultivation of self-discovery and the creation of new experiences, as well as the development of inappropriate sexual desires and attachments towards women.
Have you ever read a novel about African cultures and traditions from African point of view? The novel Things Fall Apart, a tragedy by Chinua Achebe, centers on one tragic hero in Igbo village of Umuofia in Nigeria and the effects of European arrival on his life and Igbo clan. Throughout the novel, Achebe introduces Igbo customs to the reader by creating several occurrences and how they react on them to claim that the Igbo is civilized before the Europeans arrive. The significant difference between Igbo and Western cultures is the way wisdom is passed on: Igbo oral traditions transmit values and knowledge orally by allegorical tales, while Western literary traditions educate people through generations by written texts, just like the novel itself.
Today, Christianity is one of the largest religions in Africa. In the past few decades, there has been a large growth of Christians in Africa - this is coupled with a steady decline in the more traditional African religions. The book, Things Fall Apart shows that a character that has a tragic flaw is one that constantly makes error in there actions that eventually cates us to them and leads them to there doom. Okonkwo, a perfect tragic character, is driven by his fear of being unmanly, this causes him to act very harsh toward his fellow tribesmen, his family and himself; he will judge all the people in the village. In the eyes of Okonkwo, a true man is wealthy, hard-working, and violent.
S. Naipaul and J. M. Coetzee these Post-colonial writers have all dealt with Africa in their own individual and unique ways. Achebe does not treat the African culture and ways of life as something hybrid, complex, dependant for its significance on the Western style of perceiving things or neither has he shown Africa to be existing only in relation to its difference from or consonance with the Western form of religion, culture, identity, and discourse. The major theme of the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ centers around the destruction of Africa’s intricate, almost incomprehensible but unique way of life and culture in the wake of British colonization and forced or maneuvered conversion to Christianity. The administrative as well as religious changes that the British tries to impose upon the native Africans has the disastrous effects of uprooting the indigenous people from their original root and tradition and can be seen as some instruments of subjugation, subordination and subservience which starts with creating distrust, doubts and insecurity in the minds of people for their Igbo tradition, and its cultural and religious practices and ends with making them internalize the Christian way of life and British administrative apparatuses. Another theme that is explored in this novel is the inherent fault of the central character Okonkwo, who is ambitious, industrious, honest, masculine but is rash, and unthinking and his sense of self and identity is wholly dependent on the approval of others in his community and he thinks of anything that intrudes into it as a threat and he tries hard to be a man though in a flawed manner.