Arguments Against Chinua Acebe's "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'

1622 Words7 Pages
Kody Han
Mr. Burgess
AP Literature and Composition
6 March 2013
An Image of Africa: Not Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ People of dark skin have been wrongly discriminated against by racists for hundreds of years. From the first time Europeans stepped onto Africa and deemed black skin inferior till now, black people have been fighting for the right to be called equal. During the last century Africans have made great strides in fighting against racism. Many black leaders have risen up and confronted those racist against them. However, there are also times when people have gotten up in arms and have attacked others over misunderstandings. An example of this is Chinua Achebe’s essay “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of
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It makes no sense for Achebe to stretch his information so far to come to this conclusion. It also makes no sense for Achebe to question Conrad’s description of the continent while Conrad has made the trip into the country. Achebe says, “I will not accept just any traveler’s tales solely on the grounds that I have not made the journey myself” (7). Achebe has never been to the Congo like Conrad has, yet he has the audacity to question what Conrad witnessed there while Achebe’s father was a baby. Achebe accuses Conrad of depicting Africa incorrectly without having ever having stepped foot into the continent, which makes him even more clueless to the Africa of Conrad’s age. He declares that Conrad of making Africans seem more savage than they actually were, while unable to even imagine how they were so long ago. Achebe charges Conrad with racism and ignorance while completely dismissing his own. Although Achebe is a celebrated author, at many points during this essay his arguments are weak, even pathetic because of the irrational conclusions that he comes to. This gives a preview to the carelessness of his essay that becomes evident upon further inspection. In his essay Achebe seems to forget to (or chooses not to) discuss many factors that go against his argument. He states that Conrad enjoys things that stay in their place. Achebe believes that

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