Comparing and Contrasting Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

1346 Words6 Pages
Melisa Chan English Language and Literature Instructor Van Andel ------------------------------------------------- February 1, 2013 Viewing Africa From Two Sides Of A Coin. There aren’t many novels about the true face of Africa on bookshelves, especially not novels written by an author who knows Africa best during the time of its pre-colonial period. Things Fall Apart is a novel worth reading because it’s eye opener for those with not-very-positive stereotypes of the continent. In fact, it has been said that Things Fall Apart was written as a response to another novel, The Heart of Darkness. This is because in the latter novel, Africa was viewed in a darker light compared to the former novel. Thus, it’s natural that there will be…show more content…
It was written in a way that depicted a progressive day-to-day basis of the people of Okonkwo’s family and his village. Besides that, the perception and treatment of Africa and its inhabitants are very different between the two novels. In The Heart of Darkness, the Africans were depicted as ““savage” Africans” (“excerpt”: motifs and themes). They were treated like animals and slaves. In fact, the African slaves were described as soulless, as if they were empty shells used to work for the Europeans, “… They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete deathlike indifference of unhappy savages.” Even the Congo River was depicted as winding, dark and treacherous, compared to the Thames River which was depicted as a place of light, clear and unclouded. In Things Fall Apart, however, Africa and its people were depicted as full of vigor and life. The people of Umuofia were hardworking people who worked on their farms with passion and purpose. They also have a sense of pride and honor. For example, the people of Umuofia will only attack another village only if it was by the order of the Oracle or they will be punished. This can be proven by an extract from the novel: “…never went to war unless its case was clear and just and was accepted as such by its Oracle…the Oracle had forbidden Umuofia to wage a war. If the clan had disobeyed the Oracle, they would have been
Open Document