Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness Criticism
Who gets to speak? Speech and racism in colonial literature As Dennis Leary said, bigotry isn’t born, it is taught. Bigotry is a weapon able to denigrate and dehumanize individuals. “Racism has actually constantly existed in colonization particularly soon after the Europeans colonized the New World, the idea of racial differences established” (LaRocque). Still till today, the colonial attitude particularly towards black people is due since of economic power. Lots of postcolonial novels show styles such as bigotry, abuse of power, violence and speech to show the perspective of both sides of the conflict; the black and the white.
Literature is a gift because it allows individuals to form their perspectives of the world. In the novels Things Break down by Chinua Achebe and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad readers are able to see the postcolonial literature viewpoint in similar stories from various sides. This essay will evaluate speech in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart in order to show how Achebe’s unique exposes the racism found in Heart of Darkness. Stories are important due to the fact that they form an individual’s mind by influencing their lives. Stories develop out of an individual’s belief and for that reason can not be disproven (“Comparing”).
These both novels through stories depict concerns in different societies and its complexity. Things Fall Apart is an amazing novel that shows the life of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria, Africa. The novel surrounds the primary character Okonkwo, a tragic hero who contradicts the fate of his dead dad but rather self-preserves himself. Through Okonkwo numerous styles are depicted handling violence, masculinity and the value of religious beliefs for the Igbo people. Achebe’s novel programs in detail this society and thus the intricacy of their lifestyle.
Lgbo individuals are hardworking, religious, loyal and follow the calendar based on harvesting. This points the set of beliefs and systems that indigenous people of Africa have actually established for their life’s (“Usage”). Achebe also shows the role of males and females in society and how females are appoint unimportant functions being men the power in the Igbo society. The significance of speech in the novel is focused on as the author uses Igbo language hence creating a distinctive African story. It shows a picture of Africa before colonialism changed it (“Usage”).
In the other hand, Josephs Conrad’s novella acts more as a criticism comparing the civilized and the uncivilized. This shows the power of the white Europeans on their colonization in Africa. As its title, it shows the darkest side of people by cruelty and bigotry. The novella starts in the Nellie at the Thames River when the captain Charlie Marlow begins to narrate his stories about how he went into to Africa and his experiences. Marlow has constantly have passion for maps, checking out and adventure that is what begins his journey to a brand-new and mysterious world; Africa.
Through his stories we see the complexity of the African jungle and how this place influences the characters. The only thing that inspires and drives Marlow is his desire to satisfy Kurtz, an admirable and reputable agent. Through his experiences we can see the racism towards the black individuals and how European colonizers treated them. By the actions of lots of characters we perceive the ivory smuggling, the aspiration of power and money and the evil hidden in the jungle. For that reason it reveals darkness behind inhumanity and injustice to others.
How this darkness is so effective that can damage others and the individual itself (Conrad). In both books we see the significance of speech. Speech functions as a sign of bigotry and the distance of language. Crazes Fall Apart speech is very important as Achebe utilizes lgbo words in the book. “By including Igbo words, rhythms, language and ideas into an English text about his culture, Achebe goes a long method to bridge a cultural divide” (“Language”). This reveals the complexity of the African culture and the misconception in between cultures. In this case being the lgbo culture and the ones of the colonists.
Therefore Achebe’s incorporation of Igbo words makes his novel much more reasonable since it offers the Africans a voice. It likewise enables the reader to read more about its culture by comprehending the significance of these words. We likewise see how organized and particular the dialect is relying on the guidelines to resolve to individuals. These words do not make the reading harder but rather they make it more interesting basing on its context and how they are used. Likewise these words are crucial for the novel because if they are equated to English they might lose their principle. To provide a genuine feel for lgbo culture would be difficult without also allowing sayings to play a considerable function in the unique” (“Language”). We can see how oral is necessary for the culture as there is plenty interaction. In lgbo people messages are carried orally; stories, tunes and tales told from households and essentially the whole culture relies on oral tradition, never losing the uniqueness of their dialect. It also shows how this culture is far more complicated than it appears as there are many different languages within the 9 villages.
It shows how two cultures come together as the novel being composed in English however never ever losing the lgbo words. This also represents how particular aspects of cultures are never ever going to be comprehended due to the fact that they are too complicated for each other. Achebe has fun with words thoroughly and allows readers to feel part in the story as these words play a value in the emotions of the reader. “Achebe’s intro of new kinds and language into a conventional (Western) narrative structure to communicate distinct African experiences forever changed the meaning of world literature” (“Language”).
On the other hand, in the novella Heart of Darkness speech is represented as quiet. Silence marks the distance in between the white colonizers and the African. Conrad is not giving speech to the Africans however rather marking the huge area of the misunderstanding of cultures. “Here, the human is perceived to have no language, only a physical space and the surrounding nature assistance this with the muting darkness and unknowing silence along the riverbanks” (Lerch). This is a major issue due to the fact that without speaking there is no understanding or understanding. Language enables people to gain from each other, interaction is fundamental.
This boundary results in know individuals only by their physical when it comes to the locals, among the major causes of stereotypes and racism. “Speech all of a sudden proved inadequate for Conrad’s function of letting the European peek the offensive carving in their hearts” (Achebe). This acts as a symbol of power and superiority from part of the colonizers that can speak and hold the control. Natives are not offered voice, viewpoint or the right to reveal themselves. The crash of cultures brings disputes to the both sides as any of them know each other’s language.
There is a consistent missing of noise and just the sound of darkness fills it up. Although speech is quiet in the locals, it plays a crucial and reliable role in the story and characters in the novella. From the starting the history is distinguished Marlow’s stories and experiences that he’s informing to the other members of the Nellie. “In western society, silence is something to be filled. “Language is a euphemism, a conserving life for all the Europeans” (Lerch). Marlow’s interaction types part of the Chinese box technique that is the story inside another story.
His expressions, in-depth descriptions, images and emotions carry us to the past, to the heart of darkness. Speech according to characters is seen in various methods, from much insufficient speak. This represents the individual importance of speech for each character and how it differs depending on the personality and interest of the character. For example speech in Kurtz is represented as insanity since of the absence of understanding and separating from society (“Heart”). Nevertheless it is favorably as it is the link Kurtz has with the locals that is what brings him closer to them and for that reason being recognized as the leader of the jungle.
In addition, this 2 books utilize speech as a vital and crucial element however they represent different things. As Eric Parslow said, race is a lazy mind’s tool for identifying culture. In both books racism is a style that stands out. Racism is depicted in a different way and is utilized to discuss main problems discovered in both novels. Many critics discuss if in the unique Things Break down there is bigotry or not. I personally believe racism is not found in this novel however rather is misconstrued as Chinua Achebe is criticizing mankind and the inhuman actions done by colonizers to people of Africa.
The Igbo culture in his novel is shown to the reader before colonization happens. This assists the reader to have a much better understanding on the result of colonization and how it can tear cultures apart, by pieces. By the arrival of white colonizers in the area we see how Achebe wishes to point the Europeans desire of ambition, conquest, violence and bigotry towards the African cultures. Societies are torn apart and colonizers believe they have the power to erase their culture foundation and execute theirs. “The westerners tool the structures of the indigenous people’s society and ways of living and left them with absolutely nothing.
They likewise began “reformation of the local’s minds, by appointing the mark of the negative to whatever African and the positive to everything European” (“Things”). Achebe’s book remains in truth a write back to Conrad as the bigotry and cruelty he found on the novel. Achebe wants the reader to see the other point of view from the side of the locals. Therefore, he is revealing things as they were and those descriptions and actions may be viewed as racist. There is a quote in the book that says: “The white man is foolish, he is fit to be a servant” (Ward).
This quote is racist nevertheless you can’t state the whole novel is racist because of one quote. In order for an unique to be racist, the entire book needs to reflect this. In contrast Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness is still being much critiqued as Africa is depicted as a primitive place where much bigotry and violence is held towards the locals (“Things”). This unique portrays the other side of the story, the perspective from Marlow, a white European. By this we can see how Africa is viewed as a different world where the natives are uncivilized and do not have intelligence. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled kind of a dominated beast, but there you might take a look at a thing monstrous and complimentary” (Achebe). Conrad through the character Marlow uses words as black, beasts, uncivilized to refer to the natives. Although Conrad’s descriptions, imagery, metaphors and similes are extremely powerful and detailed some are racist versus the locals. The arrival of the Europeans show the power they have and how they think they can claim for resources and the land that is not there’s.
As stated previously, silence sustains in the novella as locals have no speech signifying the misconception of cultures. “The result is seen in western author’s postcolonial literature by deceptiveness of unknown groups of individuals as savages or primitive. When in reality the author has no understanding of the group of people being presented” (“Things”). As stated before natives of Africa in Conrad’s novella are depicted as uncivilized people, being this an irony. The colonizers are not civilized because of the terrible and racist actions they perform.
Due to the complexity of the area they are surrounded they lose their morals. The jungle is a character due to its power to alter individuals. This is also the reason that the colonizers changed and ended up being the uncivilized ones due to the fact that of their aspiration for power. For that reason, Conrad’s novella can be thought about as racist but it is really crucial to remember that the story is told from the other side. As Bob Dylan stated “Don’t slam what you can’t understand.” Both of these books are very important for literature on the planet. Each one has various goals and messages.
Differences depends on the context and viewpoint they are being informed. Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness handle the big theme of colonization. What’s fascinating about them is that we can see both sides of the story and by this type our requirements. I think it is very essential to see the 2 faces of a problem in order to comprehend it. Nevertheless, I think about that you can completely comprehend something if you have lived it. An individual will constantly have his opinion towards something but will never ever truly understand it. To criticize a book, that individual should have belonged to the story and the context that is being told.
Therefore we can’t say Heart of Darkness or Things Break down is racist if we have not experienced colonization in that context. Both authors are revealing readers the perspective from which is being informed, so that the reader can have both sides of the story and form their criteria about the complicated style of colonization on the people of Africa. Functions Cited Achebe, Chinua. “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness'” Massachusetts Evaluation. 18. 1977. Rpt. in Heart of Darkness, An Authoritative Text, background and Sources Criticism. 1961. 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough, London: W.
W Norton and Co., 1988, pp. 251-261 “Comparing Things Break Down and Heart of Darkness.” 123HelpMe. com. 20 Oct 2012 <. Conrad, Joseph."Heart of Darkness." The Norton Anthology: English Literature. General Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 8th Ed. New York City: Norton, 2006. 1891-1947. "Heart of Darkness Theme of Language and Interaction." Shmoop. N. p., n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <. LaRocque, Emma."Bigotry and Colonization." Aboriginal