racism in heart of darkness

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Do you agree with Achebe’s comment that Conrad is “ a thorough going racist”? Discuss with reference to “ Heart Of Darkness”. Chinua Achebe challenges Joseph Conrad's novella depicting the looting of Africa, “Heart of Darkness” (1902) in his essay "An Image of Africa" (1975). He proclaims that Conrad had written "a bloody racist book" and believes that it has contributed to Western discrimination against Africa and Africans. Achebe argues that Conrad sets up Africa “as a foil to Europe, a place of negation in comparison with which Europe’s own state of spiritual grace will be manifest.” According to Achebe, Africa is being projected as “the other world” which is quite evident in the description of the two rivers, Thames and Congo. The introductory image of river Thames egresses as a river resting peacefully, and which has served people on its banks for ages, whereas Congo's introductory image appeared dark and gloomy to him. Achebe questions the very basis of attributing one river as a symbol of “civilization” and the other as a symbol of “ darkness”. The alleged contrast between the two women who loved Kurtz, one African and the other European also appears to be highly biased to Achebe. Any sympathy expressed for the Africans under colonialism seems to be born as a kind of liberalism, which repudiates equality while acknowledging distant kinship to Achebe. He concluded his attack on “Heart Of Darkness” by describing it as “ a book which parades in the most vulgar fashion prejudices and insults from which a section of mankind has suffered untold agonies and atrocities in the past and continues to do so in many ways and many places today.” Achebe’s allegation of the presentation of Africa as a “foil to Europe” and the darkness of people as a racial instance cannot be termed as completely true because Achebe fails to recognize that “ Africa per se” is not

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