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Heart of Controversy Chinua Achebe believes that Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness is racist based on Conrads descriptions of Africa and its people Achebe author of Things Fall Apart stresses Conrads depiction of Africa as the antithesis of Europe and civilization and the animal imagery present throughout the novellaHeart of Darkness written in 1899 during the period of British Imperialism concerns a British trading company and their expedition into the Congo for ivory The African natives are treated brutally by the Europeans and despite Conrads casual condescension towards the Africans one cannot help feeling resentment at the unnecessary cruelty they must endure The novella stands as a document against the imperialist practices -- Conrad was quite liberal for the timeThe natives are referred to as savages several times throughout the story but Conrad is not using any particularly strong words for the time The European audiences who would be reading would not find anything racist about it By todays more sensitive standards such deference is more serious but turn-of-the-century England was sure to expect far harsher Educated people reading Conrads novel should understand the differences between the past and the present and be forgiving of his languageThe deeper the expedition progressed into the center of the continent the more isolation was felt by the crew In a sense Central Africa IS the antithesis of Western Europe -- it lacks not only the hectic urban structures but also the Social Darwinist attitudes of the time It is in this remote environment that man must face his true self without any illusions and the darkness of the human soul is apparent The uncivilized environment may mock western civilizations refinement but this is not derogatory towards the jungle but rather an eye-opener to the European audience By exhibiting the deeds of the Europeans their portrayal becomes so negative that they become the savages Conrad clearly is sympathetic to the plight of the Africans and any racial epithets if
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