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Joseph Conrad develops themes of personal power individual responsibility and social justice in his book Heart of Darkness His book has all the trappings of the conventional adventure tale - mystery exotic setting escape suspense unexpected attack Chinua Achebe concluded Conrad on the other hand is undoubtedly one of the great stylists of modern fiction and a good story-teller into the bargain Achebe 252 Yet despite Conrads great story telling he has also been viewed as a racist by some of his critics Achebe Singh and Sarvan although their criticisms differ are a few to name Normal readers usually are good at detecting racism in a book Achebe acknowledges Conrad camouflaged racism remarks saying But Conrad chose his subject well - one which was guaranteed not to put him in conflict with psychological pre-disposition Achebe 253 Having gone back and rereading Heart of Darkness but this time reading between the lines I have discovered some racism Conrad felt toward the natives that I had not discovered the first time I read the book Racism is portrayed in Conrads book but one must acknowledge that back in the eighteen hundreds society conformed to it Conrad probably would have been criticized as being soft hearted rather than a racist back in his time Conrad constantly referred to the natives in his book as black savages niggers brutes and them displaying ignorance toward the African history and racism towards the African people Conrad wrote Black figures strolled out listlessly the beaten nigger groaned somewhere Conrad 28 They passed me with six inches without a glance with the complete deathlike indifference of unhappy savages Conrad 19 Achebe also detected Conrads frequent use of unorthodox name calling Certainly Conrad had a problem with niggers His in ordinate love of that word itself should be of interest to psychoanalysts Achebe 258 Conrad uses Marlow the main character in the book as a narrator so he himself can enter the story and
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