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Achebes An Image of Africa Racism in Conrads Heart of Darkness The Massachusetts Review 18 1977 782 - 94 expresses a passionate objection to Conrads point of view and portrayal of Africa and Africans in his novel Heart of Darkness Achebes novel Things Fall Apart can be considered the direct opposition to Conrads Heart of Darkness and is seen to as a challenge on Conrads western views I shall explore the validity in Achebes An Image of Africa Racism in Conrads Heart of Darkness with regards to language characterisation religion and culture Other opinions from critical readings will also be included and referenced to the two novels Things Fall Apart Heart of Darkness Achebe felt that Conrads Heart of Darkness others Africa and Africans when he says others he means that it represents the Africans as a colonised people who have little common sense and no authority Furthermore it shows them as a separate race or species to further illustrate how they were treated as animals and savages The term common sense used earlier also illustrates how Achebe took offence to the Western ideologies in that common sense is a term invented by Westerners Common sense is the general term one uses for Western beliefs and values but other cultures especially African cultures have not been included as a part of this terminology African cultures are in fact criticized by the term common sense which once again Achebe took offence to Achebe felt that Heart of Darkness was also a way of writing back to the centre in that it represented the Western people or Colonists as the dominant and superior force to Achebe it was an alienation of the Africans and Africa Heart of Darkness therefore displaced the Africans in the novel instead of them seeming good and familiar they were distanced from the reader Hence one can see how Achebe was a strong believer in the Postcolonial Theory
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