Heart Of Darkness And Things Fall Apart

3782 words - 15 pages

My interest in Joseph Conrad is centered around understanding what brought him to the Congo and how the events that transpired there influenced his attitudes in Heart of Darkness. I also wanted to gain a greater understanding of the historical events that led to the colonization of the Congo. This interest is basically grounded in the fact that prior to my exposure to Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart, I knew virtually nothing about what actually led to the colonization of the area. It is my hope that through researching these areas I will have a deeper understanding of the two novels that focused on the Congo.

In the article, "Post-colonial Literatures and Counter-discourse," Helen Tiffin raises a number of issues in regards to the hybridization of the colonized and how European universals invariably clash with that of the native. From the very beginning of the article, Tiffin notes that there is a "call to arms" (so to speak) that encompasses the "demand for an entirely new or wholly recovered 'reality,' free from all colonial taint" (95). This hope is idealistic, especially when evaluating the role that the English language plays in the lives of those who are colonized. Tiffin realizes this fact and views most post-colonial literature as a "counter-discursive" mode of expression that is highly involved in "challenging the notion of literary universality" (96).

 

The most interesting challenge raised by this European universality is the fact that many post-colonial authors use English as the means to express or disassemble notions of these supposed commonly held mores, thereby creating a hybridized literature. Tiffin notes that in a "canonical counter-discourse . . . [the] post-colonial writer . . .takes . . . basic assumptions of a British canonical text and unveils those assumptions" (97). This is clearly seen in Things Fall Apart where Chinua Achebe creates an environment that fully explores Ibo culture and often draws parallels between the European "universals" and the native traditions. By composing the novel in this way, Achebe succeeds in (as Tiffin so eloquently notes) deconstructing "assumptions from the cross-cultural standpoint of the imperially subjectified 'local'" (98). In other words, a hybrid voice evolves in a way that can be aligned with a distinct Minority Literature theme: by dismantling universal European values and using the English language to do so the colonized people are using the dominant cultures words and/or values against them to not only pick apart these values, but to hold a mirror up to what has been lost by the native people of a particular land.

 

There is, however, a likelihood that there will be some level of recovery that begins to take place for the native as a result of this discourse, which is not addressed in Tiffin's article. Hopefully, through the hybrid that is created by these institutions, post-colonial literature can serve...

Find Another Essay On Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

Dominance of Males in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

2722 words - 11 pages Dominance of Males in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart One approach to understanding a culture entails an investigation of its art. By studying the art of multiple cultures, recurrent themes may help to define universal attributes of human nature. With this premise in mind, an obvious corollary suggests that the few similarities between highly disparate cultures may be particularly

Essay on Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

1281 words - 5 pages Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness   In my reading of Things Fall Apart, it has better informed me of a culture that I did not know of before, and by reading it helped correct some broad misconceptions that I previously held of the people and their cultures of Africa. Reading the novel also gave me another perspective on the effects of imperialism/colonialism by the Europeans on the Africans. I believe

Symbolism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Achebe's Things Fall Apart

591 words - 3 pages An iconography is a symbolic representation that carries hidden meaning of a term, image, and item. Both Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart fully describe many symbolisms of specific items and all of them are attached to different kinds of meaning behind. Although Heart of Darkness is a famous literature that was criticized by Chinua Achebe and each of their work represents different point of views during similar time of

Misogyny in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1458 words - 6 pages Misogyny, the hatred or dislike of females, is a recurrent theme in World Literature. Women’s suffrage was at its prime between 1840 and 1920. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, two stories based in Africa, show different points of misogyny, the first being from the time of women’s suffrage, and the latter being after the women’s suffrage movement. The value, view, and role of women was undermined greatly

Things Fall Apart Contradicts Stereotypes and Stereotyping in Heart of Darkness

1752 words - 7 pages Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Contradicts Stereotypes in Conrad's Heart of Darkness In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness," Chinua Achebe criticizes Joseph Conrad for his racist stereotypes towards the continent and people of Africa. He claims that Conrad propagated the "dominant image of Africa in the Western imagination" rather than portraying the continent in its true form (1793). Africans were portrayed in

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

Conflict in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1055 words - 4 pages The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad are very different from one another. While they each tell a very different story, we know that both take place in Africa and that they do have similarities. One of the similarities that each novel has is the main character struggling in both. Marlow is morally fighting a conflict. On the other hand, Okonkwo is physically trying to fight conflict. Both

Opposing Viewpoints of Africa in Two Short Stories: Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

584 words - 2 pages In every situation, varying perspectives and opinions will be present, as proven in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. These literary works reveal opposing viewpoints of Africa through the use of literary and stylistic devices. The natural, primitive society is portrayed using sensory detail, imagery, and diction, which in turn reveal the authors’ different attitudes. Through his use of arrogant diction

Analysis and Evaluation of "Things Fall Apart"

1218 words - 5 pages I. Summary"Things Fall Apart" tells the story of the life of the main character, Okonkwo, from an outside narrator. There are different spatial setting throughout the story including Iguedo and Mbanta while the temporal setting is at the turn of the 19th century. In the beginning of the story Okonkwo was one of them most respected men of his tribe and was constantly moving up the social ladder yearning to join the lords of the tribe. However

Analysis of Things Fall Apart

869 words - 3 pages Different countries have people that hold many different views and beliefs. In Nigeria the Igbo area is located in the southern area of the country. And within this area is Umuofia, which is where the Ogidi tribe lives. These people have beliefs that rest strongly on religion and faith in god. "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe takes a look at the life of an African tribe that has been isolated from the outer more technologically advanced

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 contrast each other; Mr. Smith believes that blackness of skin is evil, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Brown's peaceful approach.The likable aspect of the novel, however, is that the Ibo people are also presented with their flaws; despite Things Fall Apart essentially being a retribution to Heart of Darkness, Achebe does not make the mistake of being malicious and displaying the indigenous Ibo peoples with nothing but admirable and good qualities. We

Similar Essays

Comparing And Contrasting Things Fall Apart And Heart Of Darkness

1244 words - 5 pages inhabitants and the raiding white men amidst the deep, dark, disease-infested forests of Congo form the basis of the story. Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness are both based around situations that instigate the awe-inspiring, and yet horrifying confluence of races and cultures. However, while the former tells the story from the colonized peoples’ perspective, the latter tells it from the colonizers’ perspective. This paper attempts to highlight the

Colonialism And Beyond Things Fall Apart And Heart Of Darkness

3429 words - 14 pages Colonialism and Beyond Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness   My entire education has taken place in the United States of America. It has consisted of public school, college, and graduate school. I only had one teacher during my public school career who wasn't white. I had a female African-American English teacher when I was in Junior High School. The student body of my junior high school was over ninety-percent black, yet

Author Bias In Things Fall Apart And Heart Of Darkness

1215 words - 5 pages Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart. Both authors, whether intentionally or not, show their opinions on the relations between Native Africans and European colonists in the Victorian era, and the races themselves. Conrad’s main character Marlow is the narrator for most of the story in Heart of Darkness. He is presented as a well-intentioned person, and along his travels he is shocked by the cruelties that he sees inflicted on the native people. Though

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