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A careful analysis of both The Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart evidences that Conrad and Achebe differ in the manner in which they both write about the colonizing Europeans and the native Africans. It is important to note that Achebe was an African, while Conrad was Polish and did actually not learn English until in his twenties. The very initial difference in the two stories can be derived form a careful interpretation of their titles. In Chinua’s Things fall apart, he elaborates on the manner in which Europeans came and destroyed the then peaceful systems of African traditions and resulted to everything literary falling apart. In The Heart of Darkness on the other hand, Conrad exposes how the African continent can be described as a dark continent as far as development and civilization are concerned.
Characters are fundamental vehicles that writers employ in conveying their meaning. Another significant difference in these two stories is evidenced through the characters. Marlow, the main character in The Heart of Darkness, travels to the central station from the outer station and encounters scenes of brutality and cruelty against the Africans. Marlow’s adventures portray the hypocrisy in the rhetoric employed to justify imperialism. The men working in the company describe their actions as trade and their ill treatment against Africans as part of civilization. Kurtz, another character in this story, agrees that he does not trade, but takes ivory by force. In his own words, his treatment to the Africans is extermination and suppression (56). In Things Fall Apart, on the other hand, the author describes the Native Africans with intense praise. Okonkwo, the main character, is described as a hard-working and a determined man. He achieves a lot of social and financial success through his hard work and is viewed as a pillar in his clan and society. He is however, resistance to change and this leads to his final downfall. He has a strong sense of
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