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.
In this novel he speaks through his main character Marlow about white settlers colonizing Africa, harming, exploiting and, portraying the natives in many inhumane ways. Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian author, found this work particularly racist and wrote a response to it, “An Image of Africa”. Through Achebe’s work, we realize Heart of Darkness contained a single story leaving naive readers with a single image of African natives.
In the book Heart of Darkness, the author Joseph Conrad explores the age of imperialism through his own mentality and personal experiences. through the use of the literary analysis technique New Historicism readers can analyze Conrad’s story by looking into the author himself, the time period the book was written in, and social movements during the time. Because of this, readers can draw conclusions to the meaning of this novella in an elaborate and enriching manner. Heart of Darkness dives into a deeper meaning than what a typical European story of Imperialism would, giving readers a sense of Conrad 's own dark heart: the same dark heart and mind that aids in his portrayal of his characters, the storyline and the tone the book gives off.
Kareem Mansour IB1 HL English Mr. Key Blindness and Lack of Morality Joseph Conrad’s s novel “Heart of Darkness” portrays an abominable image of Africa that is outlined with darkness, gloominess and inhumanity. At Conrad’s time, the idea of exploration and colonization was flourishing. The phenomenon of exploration and expedition of the unknown has influenced Joseph Conrad’s views as he wrote the “Heart of Darkness”. Colonialism was known to be the norm, and not many people saw anything amiss. From a European point of view, the natural next step of any powerful European nation’s political agenda is embarking on voyages of exploration and colonialism.
While Achebe admitted that Heart of Darkness did have its memorably good passages and moments, he was completely resolved in his criticism of the book. He found that the hundreds and hundreds of books that were churned out in Europe and other western countries gave a stereotyped image of Africa and Africans as if to establish it as the only way to write about the continent. He felt that canonical literary books routinely represented Africa in a biased way. According to him, in such a crucial point of time, when European desire to create "the tradition of an Africa inhabited by barely recognizable humanity have taken their toll" (Achebe, Home 47), African writers must take up the responsibility to represent Africa and counter European biased and stereotyped representations. He emphasized that only the Africans can describe their own continent in the best and most realistic manner.
Ignorance of another's personal values or situation results in an impassable schism between the two parties. People fail to understand each other, and as such, they regard each other in lower lights. In “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad, through Marlow, writes his novella through a lense of ignorance and the perspective of the typical white person of the time in order to relate his story to the reader. Marlow and the accountant are contrasted with Kurtz to display the effects of evil on an individual. The majority of the novella is told from Marlow’s perspective.
When looking back at works of art, one must always keep in mind the time in which it was written. This is because while something may be considered sexist and racist in modern times, they would not have necessarily been viewed that way in the time it was written by the audience it was aimed toward.There is no doubt that Joseph Conrad was both racist and sexist, but so were most, if not all, of his peers at that time. And while it is important to note such features as they brought about many great discussions on his novel. However, this is not what is important or what should be discussed. Joseph Conrad’s apparent racism and sexism have brought about many long debated controversies surrounding Heart of Darkness, although it still remains that
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.
According to Wikipedia, imperialism represents the tendency of a state to extent and conquer other wicker lands. In my opinion, one of the most interesting themes in Joseph Conrad`s Heart of Darkness is imperialism. The novel is about a trading European Company which exported ivory from Africa. The main character and the narrator of the story is Marlow, a seaman who obtained a job on a steamboat for that Company. In the novel the river, the location and the name of the Company are never specified, and also not important for the interpretation of the novel, as Marlow said „It was the farthest point of navigation and the culminating point of my experience” (Conrad, 5).
20th century literature is depicted by anger. Toni Morrison is one of the most eloquent novelists who has written some of demanding abuses of the modernism. Morrison 's writings focus on the life of African people in European communities and on their identity . Throughout Morrison 's novel, she does not use whites for main characters. ' 'The Bluest Eye ' ' is considered an autobiographical novel .