In my original conception of this essay I had thought to conclude it nicely on an appropriately positive note in which I would suggest from my privileged position in African and Western cultures some advantages the West might derive from Africa once it rid its mind of old prejudices and began to look at Africa not through a haze of distortions and cheap mystifications but quite simply as a continent of people -- not angels, but not rudimentary souls either -- just people, often highly gifted people and often strikingly successful in their enterprise with life and society.
The Christian Science Monitor, a paper more enlightened than most, once carried an interesting article written by its Education Editor on the serious psychological and learning problems faced by little children who speak one language at home and then go to school where something else is spoken.
But Conrad chose his subject well -- one which was guaranteed not to put him in conflict with the psychological predisposition of his readers or raise the need for him to contend with their resistance. Yes, it was ugly enough, but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you -- you so remote from the night of first ages -- could comprehend.
The black man lays a claim on the white man which is well-nigh intolerable. Now that was funny, he said, because he knew a fellow who taught the same thing, or perhaps it was African history, in a certain Community College not far from here.
He intentionally emphasizes the presence of a government, besides the church and shows that the white man, does not only want to convert the natives to Christianity or take away their ivory and gold but also wants to rule them. This need is not new; which should relieve us all of considerable responsibility and perhaps Comparison of conrad s and achebe s presentation us even willing to look at this phenomenon dispassionately.
Secondly, I may be challenged on the grounds of actuality. They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now, nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation lying confusedly in the greenish gloom.
One of them was particularly happy to learn about the customs and superstitions of an African tribe. But whereas irrational love may at worst engender foolish acts of indiscretion, irrational hate can endanger the life of the community. Yes, but that is not the real point. Even Heart of Darkness has its memorably good passages and moments: Ignorance might be a more likely reason; but here again I believe that something more willful than a mere lack of information was at work.
In all this business a lot of violence is inevitably done not only to the image of despised peoples but even to words, the very tools of possible redress. As we begin to think about why Conrad and Achebe have used so different tones on such a similar subject, we feel like we are solving a mystery plot.
A Conrad student informed me in Scotland that Africa is merely a setting for the disintegration of the mind of Mr. And there was, in any case, something totally wrong in offering bribes to the West in return for its good opinion of Africa.
Before the story likes us into the Congo basin proper we are given this nice little vignette as an example of things in their place: Africa as setting and backdrop which eliminates the African as human factor.
We can inspect samples of this on pages 36 and 37 of the present edition: Brought from all the recesses of the coast in all the legality of time contracts, lost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.
It was a fine autumn morning such as encouraged friendliness to passing strangers. Travelers with closed minds can tell us little except about themselves. And yet not even one word is spared for his attitude to black people.
It is important to note that Conrad, careful as ever with his words, is concerned not so much about distant kinship as about someone laying a claim on it. For reasons which can certainly use close psychological inquiry the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its civilization and to have a need for constant reassurance by comparison with Africa.
He said nothing about the art of printing, unknown as yet in Europe but in full flower in China. Meyer follows every conceivable lead and sometimes inconceivable ones to explain Conrad. And the intimate profundity of that look he gave me when he received his hurt remains to this day in my memory -- like a claim of distant kinship affirmed in a supreme moment.
The voice and presence of Africans differ clearly in two works because Conrad is looking through the perspective of the colonizer and Achebe, from that of the colonized.
Of course there is a judicious change of adjective from time to time, so that instead of inscrutable, for example, you might have unspeakable, even plain mysterious, etc.
But he foolishly exposed himself to the wild irresistible allure of the jungle and lo!
In his lengthy book Dr. It was a wide-ranging article taking in Spanish-speaking children in America, the children of migrant Italian workers in Germany, the quadrilingual phenomenon in Malaysia, and so on.
Sometimes his fixation on blackness is equally interesting as when he gives us this brief description: Generally normal readers are well armed to detect and resist such under-hand activity.
The first occurs when cannibalism gets the better of them: I am talking about a book which parades in the most vulgar fashion prejudices and insults from which a section of mankind has suffered untold agonies and atrocities in the past and continues to do so in many ways and many places today.
Africans can accept to be wrong in certain points, whereas the colonizers disregard anything outside their own agenda. Conrad, on the other hand, is undoubtedly one of the great stylists of modern fiction and a good storyteller into the bargain.
Therefore, there is the contrast in between his reputation as a remarkable agent among colonizers, and his denial to play the game by the rules of a civilized society. The revolution of twentieth century art was under way!Dec 03, · I present in this my presentation a comparison between Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
I used as references, Chinua Achebe's review on Conrad's work, An. Through the presentation of the struggle with internal and external “darkness,” both Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart draw upon contrasting viewpoints and cultures, as well as an ironic play of “darkness” between the Europeans and the Africans, to construe the tragedy unfolding i.
Conrad vs. Achebe In Heart of Darkness, Conrad’s misunderstanding of the Ibo Culture is symbolized by his misrepresentation of the language.
Though Conrad views the language as babbling and grunting, Achebe points out that they are still humans; though others might not understand it, their. Achebe, Chinua.
"An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'" Massachusetts Review. in comparison with which Europe's own state of spiritual grace will be manifest. As I said earlier Conrad did not originate the image of Africa which we find in his book.
It was and is the dominant image of Africa in the. The Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart: Comparison of Conrad’s and Achebe’s presentation of Africans, colonizers and colonialism 12 October In FebruaryChinua Achebe presented a famous lecture at Amherst college in the United States, entitled “An image of Africa: Racism of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”.
In his lecture, Achebe attacks Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and .Download