Discuss Whether "Midnight's Children' By Salman Rushdie, 'things Fall Apart' By Chinua Achebie, And 'heart Of Darkness' Were Intended To Be What Could Easily Be Classified As A 'post Colonial Novel'?

2322 words - 9 pages

In order to discuss whether or not any of the novels studied can be easily classed as 'post-colonial', we must first define what exactly post-colonialism is. Post-colonial literature has been described as, 'interaction between imperial culture, and the complex of indigenous cultural practices' . Simplified, this entails the study of the interaction between a powerful country and the country they colonised. The European nation held great sway over large parts of the globe, and this disintegration of this as countries fought for their freedom has lead to a growing interest in post-colonial studies, which are based around the historical fact of European colonialism. This is something that must be firmly remembered lest the precise meaning of the word 'post-colonial' be lost in a description of a dangerously wide variety of cultural and economic practices. Issues such as slavery, religious conflict, migration, suppression, resistance, and freedom all come under the heading of post-colonial studies; none are singularly definitive of post-colonialism, but together they form the basis of the theory. Critics of the term, however, have questioned the use of the word 'post'; post generally implies 'after', but some countries remain financially dependent on others or have not erased all aspects of colonialism, even while still being called 'post'-colonial. The Congo, for example, is post-colonial; they are an independent nation, but the effects of colonialism are still very much felt, and they remain reliant on outside trade.Joseph Conrad's well known novella, Heart of Darkness, is an example of post-colonial literature. It tells the tale of a man venturing into the jungles of the Congo in order to rescue an ivory trader named Kurtz from the dangers posed by African tribes, and indeed the greed of his own colleagues, mostly Belgians. Through the narrator Charlie Marlow, we see Conrad's view of the marauding Belgian imperialists, and their leader, King Leopold II. Conrad sees them as destroying both the Congo itself and its inhabitants, impervious to anything but their quest for ivory and ultimate greed. Conrad portrays the Belgium Company as destructive, selfish, and immoral. He also presents the Company employees passive and leech-like, contributing little, if anything, to the company. Images of enslaved natives with 'black rags … wound round their loins and short ends behind wagg[ing] to and fro like tails' , depicts their suffering at the hands of the Belgians, who are destroying both their lands and culture.While this may suggest that Conrad is sympathetic towards the natives Africans, from a post-colonial point of view - and indeed from an African point of view - it is possible to see that Conrad presents the people of the Congo as primitive and inhuman, incapable of feeling basic human emotion. Writer Chinua Achebe, an African himself, was one of the first people to class Heart of Darkness as racist. It is through Achebe's critiques that we can...

Find Another Essay On Discuss whether "Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie, 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebie, and 'Heart of Darkness' were intended to be what could easily be classified as a 'post-colonial novel'?

Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

3782 words - 15 pages of Darkness and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart a awareness of the historical backdrop of the Congo is necessary. Populations along the central Congo basin can be traced back from the middle of the Stone Age and by around A. D. 100, the area became increasingly settled because of the ability to farm yams, bananas and harvest palm oil. Trading between the various tribes in the area became more common. The website, "History of the Republic

Suppresion of Women's Rights: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1299 words - 5 pages Women’s rights are consistently suppressed in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” while in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, the powerful Mother of the Spirits is revered and her daughters beaten and persecuted because of their gender. These authors were vividly depicting the reality of the repression of women during this time period. They exploit the vulnerabilities of women by criticizing all of their stereotypical feminine qualities

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1126 words - 5 pages mistreatment shows a large amount of emotional strength. This reflection of Ibo women that one gleans from Things Fall Apart can also be seen in real Ibo culture, as women are treated and act in very parallel ways. (Kramer) It is clear that Achebe is not being sexist when he talks about women in his novel; instead he is relaying facts about the real life tribe. In conclusion, Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is not being sexist. He uses this

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1105 words - 4 pages Umuofia is a village in Africa, and the inhabitants there are usually united. However, when the Christians arrive and permeate the village, the clan changes but also falls apart. The novel in which this story takes place is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The story is about a well-respected man named Okonkwo who has three wives and many children, the oldest being Nwoye. Okonkwo is banished for seven years from Umuofia, and during

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

1812 words - 8 pages Fear is like religion which can poison thoughts and bias views before overwhelming and ultimately taking over one’s innocence and morals. In Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s reprehensible actions are caused by his fogged view of right and wrong since his life is dominated by a lifelong fear of failure. Okonkwo’s profound fear of failure originated from his failures of his father Unoka, and Okonkwo’s life purpose is to be the

"Things fall apart" by Chinua Achebe

562 words - 2 pages An African man, Chinua Achebe, wrote the novel, "Things Fall Apart", at the age of 26. The story portrays his theme of life, 'when one thing stands another stands beside it'. The main character, Okonkwo, lead a somewhat complicated life. As it began, it was ruled by courage and strength, but he chose to end it with a weak escape from every challenge he had ever been given, suicide.As his life began he was given nothing. His father, Unoka, was a

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1767 words - 7 pages In Chinua Achebe’s Classic 1959 novel Things Fall Apart, we are faced with the foreign ways of the Ibo people of present-day Nigeria. The story is told through the experiences and often times thoughts of protagonist Okonkwo, an imperfect but respected clansman whose fear of appearing weak drives every decision he makes. In the peak of conflict, Okonkwo is exiled for seven years, loses much of the esteem he had gained and finds his bad Chi to be

"Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe

567 words - 2 pages In the novel 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe, a society is presented to us, a society that has its faults and mistakes. Achebe creates a world of people who like us are human and make common mistakes. He explains the complexity of these people and how the colonization had affected their clan. His objective is not farther towards one side as to the other, yet in some occasions it may feel so.There is a constant balance between reason and

"Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe

1462 words - 6 pages The novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, describes a traditional village in Africa called Ibo. Achebe is trying to tell the outside world about the little village and to remind the people of its own traditional values. In those days, many Africans were just willing to accept that there culture as nothing and full of rubble, as the European influence grew. In this novel Achebe will enlighten the reader with fascinating descriptions and

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

960 words - 4 pages Okonkwo is not all that he may seem; as there is more than what meets the eye. Okonkwo is the primary protagonist within the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo is a cruel yet kind man who has everything yet has nothing, which in turn creates a sympathetic character. A character such as Okonkwo has many facets; or masks if you will. Then we have his many influences: the Ibo culture; his father Unoka and of course his own personality

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

1412 words - 6 pages In this world, there are many types of religions and cultures, each having its own views on life and how one should live. Not everyone decides to accept a specific religion, but they are handed their culture and way of living. The environment that one is raised in becomes one's culture. In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Ibo culture reveals a lot about itself. It showed the uniqueness of this particular culture. The uniqueness

Similar Essays

"Midnight's Children" By Salman Rushdie As A Post Colonial Novel

1432 words - 6 pages differences, Rushdie contrast Western and nonwesternperspectives on reality to expand the outlines of what the West takes to be the real. WhileRushdie, like his anglicized narrator Saleem, might hesitate in the presence of thesupernatural, he admits persons who greet the supernatural with total belief. What do youmake of this? Like everything else, Rushdie challenges the universalism of West'sunderstanding of the unreal by giving us a glimpse into

Tragedy In Colonial Africa By Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness And Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

1388 words - 6 pages “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 in Colonial Africa. To begin comparing and contrasting these two pieces of literature, one must first examine the authors. Conrad was a white European, educated, and was a sailor who sailed up the

Misogyny In Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad And Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

1458 words - 6 pages story was published in 1958, right after the women’s suffrage movement, so the non-accepting tone is understandable. Not one of the three female characters in given a name in Heart of Darkness. This makes it seem as though women do not matter enough to be given a name. In Things Fall Apart, each woman is given a name. Only three important instances involve women in Heart of Darkness, Marlow’s conversation with his aunt, Kurtz painting, and

Midnights Children By Salman Rushdie Essay

2131 words - 9 pages for Independence, as well as a story of a boy's coming to age and a family’s saga. Midnight’s Children spans 63 years of Saleem’s and India’s history beginning in 32 years before Saleem’s birth and ending when Saleem is about to 32. Bibliography: midnight's children by salman rushdie