A Macat Analysis of Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Clare Clarke
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A Macat Analysis of Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

Author: Clare Clarke, Lindsay Scorgie-Porter

Series: Macat Library

Narrator: Macat.com

Unabridged: 1 hr 42 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway

Published: 07/15/2016

Genre: Literary Criticism - African

Synopsis

Nigerian novelist and professor Chinua Achebe was acutely conscious that Western views of Africa were inevitably the views of a culture that assumed itself superior. When confronted by what it took to be an inferior culture, the West identified itself as better—materially, intellectually, even spiritually. Achebe believed that even as original and subtle a work as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness—a novel seen by many as a criticism of colonialism and one that Achebe admired stylistically—reflected these assumptions. For Achebe, Heart of Darkness was a book shot through with racist preconceptions that belittled and demeaned both Africa and Africans. As such it could never be considered a great work of art, as had consistently been claimed in the West. Achebe maintained that the novel’s racism left it permanently tainted. This was a view that shocked, startled, stimulated, and colored all subsequent opinions of Conrad. It remains controversial and challenging—even divisive—today.

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