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Racial Comments in Joseph Conrad´s Heart of Darkness Essay

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Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness has been the cause of racial arguments debating whether it should be read nowadays. The way Conrad describes African Americans troubles several critics, Achebe in particular. Achebe disagrees with Conrad’s novel so much because in it Conrad dehumanizes African and Achebe won’t let anyone lower his humanity. Within the first few pages of his article Achebe compares Conrad as being, “no more a great artist than another who may be called a priest who reads the mass backwards or a physician who poisons his patients” (Achebe 9). This phrase shows how much he disagrees with Conrad. Despite the fact that Conrad lived in a time where Africans didn’t have the best image; Achebe believes that there is no…show more content…
That doesn’t show Africans in an appealing way and makes Africans appear less humane (idk if that word even makes sense) than Conrad has already done. Overall the way Africa and Africans are portrayed by Conrad is basically screaming avoid Africa and its “savages.” Another prime example of racial discrimination is the way Conrad speaks of them, “it was unearthly and the men were- No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it- this suspicion of their humanity –like yours- the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar” (Conrad need to find page number). Conrad is horrified that they could be or are in any way like him. Describing them as ugly and savages shows how he doesn’t view Africans equally; furthermore, he doesn’t consider them human. The one time he meets a native that’s not a savage Conrad doesn’t know how to react, “he was an improved specimen...to look at him was as edifying as seeing a dog in a parody of breeches and a feather hat, walking on his hind-legs” (Conrad 32). As well as, “he ought to have been clapping his hands and stamping his feet on the bank, instead of which he was hard at work, a thrall to stage witchcraft, full of improving knowledge” (Conrad 33). In my opinion, he compares a native to a “dog in parody of breeches..walking on his hind-legs,” to illustrate how natives are not better than animals nor better skilled than them”
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