Comparison Of Two Books Essay, Research Paper
When asked to create an image of Africa in one’s mind many people describe a stuningly similar vision, one which includes primative landscapes as well as a primative way of life. In the past, and even somewhat today, Africa is considered to be a location that resembles a most natural form of earth. The novels Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart are both novels that take place in Africa and have contrasting outlooks on a very similar senerio. Both of these novels examine the effects caused by the arrival of the white man into the very location that can be truely classified as the “heart of darkness”. Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness, shows very little respect towards Africa’s inhabitants and in response to Conrad’s bias nature Achebe writes his novel Things Fall Apart. It is clearly visible that Achebe’s book addresses many of things that Joseph Conrad’s prejudice nature has failed to acknowldge such as the addressing of the blacks, description of Africa and the society/culture of the African people.
While examining both novels it is evident that there is certainly a contrast in the overall tone in the way that the african people are addressed. In Heart of Darkness the reader can easily pick up on the negative aspects of Jospeh Conrad’s writing methods. On numerous occasions he addresses the Africans as nigers and blacks. Conrad Says while addressing the Africans, “Strings of dusty nigers with splay feet arrived and departed…” (Conrad, 29). This qoute shows that the African people were not of enough importance to receive a name from Conrad in his story. Conrad rather chooses to label them under the simple term of “niger”. Rather then Conrad giving the “black figures” names he has chosen to leave them as simply “black bodies” and “nigers”. In complete contrast Achebe has not only gone into a detailed description of African life but he has given almost each of them a name which allows them to have an identity. In addition to this identity, Achebe even goes so far as to explain the meaning of some of the names used. For instance, Uchendu states “one of the commonest names we give our children is Nneka, or “Mother is Supreme” (Achebe, 133). Obviously Conrad’s work is a product of his time, however, something make his predjudice more noticable then what would have been excepted from him during his time. His fixation on blackness is quick repetative and makes the reader realize that it is more then just descriptiveness. Conrad writes, “A black figure stood up, strode on long black legs, waving long black arms”. This is definately more then descriptiveness, Conrad had no need to speak in this manner since the reader could assume that the black figure would obviously have black legs and black arms. The overall manner in which Conrad addresses the African’s within his novel clearly shows that there is a predjudice tone and Achebe has certainly addressed that witin the writting of Things Fall Apart.