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Essay on Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

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Images of Africans in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

In my reading of Things Fall Apart, it has better informed me of a culture that I did not know of before, and by reading it helped correct some broad misconceptions that I previously held of the people and their cultures of Africa. Reading the novel also gave me another perspective on the effects of imperialism/colonialism by the Europeans on the Africans. I believe Achebe has succeeded in enabling the West an opportunity to have them "listen to the weak" (Achebe interview), but whether or not Western society decides to listen will come down to the individual within the society--if they do choose to listen to the call of the "weak." In this essay I will share
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When I came to realize that the Igbo people aren't that much different from us, I looked for further examples that supported my belief. For examples, at the first reading of the ritual of breaking the kola nut and drinking palm wine, during the visit of a guest or during a festive occasion, I was intrigued but then understood its principle by relating it back to our culture. Do we not have similar customs, of asking a friend whom we haven't seen in a while if she would like to "go out and get a beer," of when we go to a party to bring some "party favors" to share with people? There are other examples of positive similarities, but I then decided to focus on the faults we have in common with the Igbo.

A rather hilarious fault of the Igbos/Africans is their misinterpretation of what white people looked like. They believed that white people had "no toes" (1453). This misperception was due to all of their ideas of white people probably coming from hearsay or from individuals who had seen a white man once. The reality of their perception possibly is, if and when they saw a white person, he/she had shoes on and, this idea being completely foreign to them, they perceived the white man as having "no toes." Was there not a time when Western society viewed Africans as a
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