Interactions To Joseph Conrad's 'Heart Of Darkness'

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1. Two Time Periods, Two Influences on how Interpreting Heart of Darkness
The first thing to remember is that reactions to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness from one period to another are not entirely the same. Indeed, the responses are sometimes contradictory, especially concerning the race aspect in the novella. Chinua Achebe and Caryl Phillips, the two postcolonial writers, are the best example in that case; they belong to different periods that have influenced their interpretation of the book.
2.1. Achebe; Life under the British Colonial Rule
Chinua Achebe, who died in March 2013, proclaimed as the father of African literature, was and is still considered the most renowned African novelist of the post-colonial era. He was born in the traditional
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Yet, the interpretation of the novella was at odds with the changing mentality because of the decolonization movement in West Africa. Consequently, by that time, Achebe realized that Conrad’s work is an example of the hypocrisy of Europeans’ civilized mission and his need to write his own fiction to destroy the mistaken portrayal of Africa and its…show more content…
In fact, he is recognized as being the migrant writer par excellence and as a canon of the contemporary Black British literature, exploring the themes of identity and belonging in his works. He stories deal with his experience as a being an outcast in the British society as he introduces some autobiographical element in his works, emphasizing on the fact that one’s past and history have an impact on their present life and even on their future. Thus, he focuses on the interaction between history, travel, and identity. Even more important, what makes his writings unique is the fact that he does not restrict himself to the Black’s point of view and experience of being confronted to a new society.
Growing up in a white environment with a clear division between two cultures, between “we”, the white English people and “the others”, the black, had an important impact on Phillips’ identity and his sense of self as he explains “One felt very much split. Sometimes you felt British and sometimes you felt from the West Indies. It had a profound effect growing up with a sense of two identities. I meant that you never really felt comfortable. You always felt slightly like a bit of an
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