A Reversal of Representation Analytical Essay by capital writers

A Reversal of Representation
A review of the books "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe.
# 28579 | 1,032 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 30, 2003 in Literature (English) , Literature (World) , English (Analysis)

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This paper introduces the books "Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad and "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Specifically, discusses how Chinua Achebe reverses the representation of Africa and Africans offered in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." It looks at how Conrad represents the natives in his book "Heart of Darkness" as savage beasts, who need to be tamed by the Belgium colonials. They are terrified of the white man and his cruelties. In contrast, it shows how the Ibo of Achebe's novel want to get along with the white man and how they pay for it in the end.

From the Paper:

"Language also plays another very important part in the two books, because it is another underlying problem between the natives and the imperialists. The English language has many nuances and meanings, and in "Heart of Darkness," the Europeans use them incessantly to confuse and confound the natives, just as Conrad does to confuse the issues in the story. Note how Kurtz is described as someone who "for the guidance of the cause intrusted [sic] to us by Europe, so to speak, higher intelligence, wide sympathies, a singleness of purpose" (Conrad 79), while the natives are "criminals," really pathetic half-starved men with emaciated limbs "like knots in a rope" (Conrad 64). In addition, Kurtz is the most "civilized" man in the territory, and yet the heads of natives on posts, a constant reminder of what will happen to the natives if they step out of line with the white people, surround his home."

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