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 and vivid imagery, Conrad establishes a superior tone, while Achebe incorporates words with peaceful connotations into his sensory detail to create a serene tone.
In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses carefully chosen words in his diction and imagery to convey a disdainful tone. Throughout the excerpt, Conrad uses words like “sluggish,” “brooding,” and “unrestful” to portray Africa as a frustratingly slow-paced environment. He appears to be afraid of the unknown and exaggerates his feelings by referring to his destination as a “heart of darkness” (Conrad). Conrad is also referring to the literal darkness of the “impenetrable forest” and the ominous environment caused by the “great silence” (Conrad). Upon his arrival, Conrad describes the greeting from the people as “a whirl of black limbs, a mass of hands clapping, of feet stamping, of bodies swaying, of eyes rolling” (Conrad). This reveals the author’s intolerance towards the Africans, making it clear that he views the Africans from the perspective of an outsider who is unfamiliar with tribal customs. Along his journey, Conrad notices a “stillness of life” and acknowledges that in other circumstances this would have a peaceful effect (Conrad); however, due to his unfamiliar surroundings and fear of the unknown, he finds the stillness threatening and foreboding. Overall, Conrad conveys a message to...

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