Conflict in Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Achebe's Things Fall Apart

960 WordsJun 25, 20184 Pages
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad are very different from one another. While they each tell a very different story, we know that both take place in Africa and that they do have similarities. One of the similarities that each novel has is the main character struggling in both. Marlow is morally fighting a conflict. On the other hand, Okonkwo is physically trying to fight conflict. Both result in the main character losing his battle with the conflict at the end of each novel. We learned very early on that Okonkwo is well-known for his physical capabilities. Achebe shared his history, “As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amatinze the Cat,” (3;…show more content…
Okonkwo, on the other hand, was seeing Christianity spreading everywhere in Umuofia. It was corrupting his tribe. He normally would demand action and war, but he saw that this time it would do him no good. He and those left in the tribe were powerless compared to the colonists and their newly found followers. At the end, we saw Okonkwo react angrily to the five messengers by killing one of them, and then, “He wiped off his machete on the sand and went away,” (205; ch.24). He gave up solving the conflict when he could not fight and could only talk. He saw only bad changes coming about, so he took his own life. In the end of each novel, we see that each main character has lost his battle. Marlow lost to the darkness, and Okonkwo lost his fight for preserving Africa and their customs and beliefs. Neither wanted change, but could not prevent it. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but for both it turned out to be. Okonkwo could have listened to what the colonists had to say about their religion and compromised to solve both groups’ problems. Marlow could have spread the news on what he found was taking place in Africa. Both chose not to do so and were unsuccessful as a result. Achebe and Conrad told largely different stories, but with some similarities. In both there was a lot
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