A single story can be dangerous for the simple fact that we miss the whole story. The one-sided view on life can lead to stereotypes and judgement of others. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is an example of this single story. This Polish-British writer is claimed to be a great author, with Heart of Darkness being his most popular work. 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.
Throughout the novel, we see Conrad gives us idea about how deceiving one could be. For example when Marlow talks about the map unfamiliar Africa and where unknown part are drawn which turns out white on the map of Africa. Africa appears to be dark through exploitation, colonization and exploration of the rest of the continents. Conrad even uses the idea of light and dark to gives us more idea of the inner status of some of the specific character. In the novel ‘Heart of Darkness’ Mr. Kurtz who is an Caucasian man, who has white skin, but who has the darkest and most corrupt soul in the novel.
John Howard Griffin dives, head first into the subjects of prejudice, diversity, and racism; in his novel Black Like Me. During his transformation from a white man to a black man, he see’s the injustices thrown upon African Americans. Not because of the way they act, but because of the way they look. The novel Black Like Me brings about a realization of the hypocrisy of White Americans and opens the eyes to the readers, whether they want to accept it as truth or not. Griffin fights for racial justice but due to the fact he is white; he will never be able to understand what it’s like to be African American.
The Invisible Man Difficulty in finding one’s true identity is a displeasing reality that is quite common in society. In the novel, Invisible Man, the author Ralph Ellison develops the narrators conflict; a search for his identity, while conveying both invisibility and blindness. The author utilizes the theme of invisibility and the symbol, blindness, as it relates to the narrator’s conflict with the racist time period the novel is set in. The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison was written shortly after America’s triumph in World War II. The 1940’s and early 1950’s were also a time immense discrimination against blacks.
Mark Twain’s main argument of racism and slavery is apparent in the citation, being the crowd is discriminating and treating Jim harshly solely based on his color and without knowing, or taking consideration any information the Doctor is about to exclaim about the righteous act Jim did in order to save Tom Sawyer’s life. Not to mention, Twain’s argument of racism is evident in the Doctor’s exclamation, being he stated to not treat Jim any more harshly than you're “obliged” to, thus reveals, the natural racism and tendency to discriminate against African Americans based on their race during the time period in the novel. Furthermore, Twain’s argument of slavery and racism is apparent in the Doctor’s perception toward Jim by stating although he
Those who feel the novel encourages racism say that because of the stereotypes used when featuring Jim, how Huck and Tom treated Jim, and how often the N-word is brought up Twain had hoped to encourage racism. However there is still strong evidence that proves why that might be a misunderstanding. If twain was intending to encourage racism then why would he make Him seem so much of a better person than the duke, king, and Huck's father. Also when Twain illustrates the black and white symbolism he portrayed Him as white man and Huck's father, who is a white man, as dark and scary. Then throughout the story as a reader you feel empathy for Jim he begins to become one of the favorite characters in the novel.
The racism that was so normalized among Conrad and his peers has since placed his novel under attack by Chinua Achebe, who claimed that “Art is not intended to put people down. If so, the art would ultimately discredit itself” and that if it pulled out and dehumanized such a large portion of the human race, it could truly not be considered a work of art (Phillips). Yet, the racism embedded in the novel played a much larger part than merely being racism. Both Conrad and Marlow are clearly racist, but Conrad knows that the superiority held by the Europeans was wrong, and he uses Marlow to view that and to show that there is a possibility for it to change. He knows that although he could see no alternative, it was possible just as he saw with Imperialism.
Instead, he hides behind “satire” in order to excuse his depiction of the slavery experience and blames his characters for his inability to truly reveal the slavery experience. Regardless of Mark Twain’s intent in writing the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry
The mere idea about removing this word from “Huckleberry Fin” is preposterous. By removing the word nigger, we are removing the whole meaning of the book. We are removing the reason and the effect Mark Twain was trying to laminate. He was trying to teach people the history behind this offensive word and how powerful a single word can be. As stated in the article, “In Defense of a Loaded Word,” the author said, “’Nigger is border, the signpost that reminds us that the old crimes don’t disappear.” The reason Mark Twain wrote “Huckleberry Finn” using this word was because he wanted to demonstrate that racial prejudice and slavery was still prevalent during their time.
2. Comparison in Terms of Purpose 2.1. Achebe: To Denounce Heart of Darkness Chinua Achebe redefined our way of reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Indeed, while focusing on the description of Africa and its people, the Nigerian writer laid serious charges against the book for its racist stereotypes and highlighted the colonizer’s oppression of the natives. In truth, thirty-four years after his first delivered public lecture “An image of Africa”, excoriating the book, he spoke against it again in an interview with Robert Siegel, an American journalist in NPR radio, where he argued that the novella is only the product of “a seductive writer and who could pull his reader into the fray”.