Heart of Darkness Essay

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Achebe is a noted Nigerian novelist whose works include Things Fall Apart and Anthills of the Savannah; he has frequently lectured in the United States and served as a professor at the University of

Massachusetts-Amherst in 1987-88.In the following excerpt, Achebe argues that the racist attitudes inherent in Conrad's novel make it "totally inconceivable" that it could be considered "great art "

Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as "the other world," the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where a man's vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality. The book opens on the River Thames, tranquil, resting peacefully "at the decline of day after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks." But the actual story takes place on the River Congo, the very antithesis of the Thames. The River Congo is quite decidedly not...

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This section contains 4,336 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heart of Darkness Study Guide
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Heart of Darkness from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.