In Heart of DarknessJoseph Conrad shows Africa through the perspective of the colonizing Europeans, who tend to depict all the natives as savages.
The essay[ edit ] According to Achebe, Conrad refuses to bestow "human expression" on Africans, even depriving them of language.
Africa itself is rendered as "a foil to Europe, as a place of negations at once remote and vaguely familiar, in comparison with which Europe's own state of spiritual grace will be manifest".
Conrad, he says, portrays Africa as "'the other world', the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization", which Achebe attributes to Conrad's "residue of antipathy to black people". Achebe moves beyond the text of Conrad's Heart of Darkness in advancing his argument.
Achebe quotes a passage from Conrad, as Conrad recalls his first encounter with an African in his own life: A certain enormous buck nigger encountered in Haiti fixed my conception of blind, furious, unreasoning rage, as manifested in the human animal to the end of my days.
Of the nigger I used to dream for years afterwards. Achebe concludes that "Conrad had a problem with niggers.
His inordinate love of that word itself should be of interest to psychoanalysts. Sometimes his fixation on blackness is equally interesting His searing critique is sometimes taught side-by-side with Conrad's work, and is regularly included in critical editions of the text.
Counterpoint[ edit ] The essay has been criticised for being "a political statement rather than a literary criticism". I never said at any point that you should stop attaching artistic merit to Heart of Darkness; if you want to you can.
There are all kinds of sophisticated readings of Heart of Darkness, and there are some people who will not be persuaded there is anything wrong with it.
But all that I'm really demanding, I'm not simply putting it, I'm demanding that my reading stand beside these other readings Although he's writing good sentences, he's also writing about a people, and their life.
And he says about these people that they are rudimentary souls The Africans are the rudimentaries, and then on top are the good whites.
Now I don't accept that, as a basis for As a basis for anything.Feb 05, · After reading Chinua Achebe’s article, “An Image of Africa” which fervidly criticizes Joseph Conrad for being racist, I expected Hunt Hawkins’ article to attempt to debunk all claims made by Achebe. Second, Conrad compares the Africans to animals and objects calling them “ants”, “savages”, “glistening white eyeballs” and worst of all that disturbed Achebe is the use of the word “savage specimen” that means that the Africans are samples.
Symbolism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - An iconography is a symbolic representation that carries hidden meaning of . Comparison of Conrad's and Achebe's Presentation of Africans Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, both take place in the heart of Africa and center around the idea of colonialism held by the European powers in 19th century.
Achebe's presentation of the dark land's native culture and that of Conrad's are not similar; Achebe's is more piercing while Conrad prefers a symbolic paradigm. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" is the published and amended version of the second Chancellor's Lecture given by Chinua Achebe at .