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Questions of Racism in Heart of Darkness - Admission/Application Essay Example

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 The research examines questions of racism and intertext in Heart of Darkness as a point of reference to see Ngugi’s arguments about the canon, a different darkness in the heart of Africa that is positive and nurturing rather than strange, alien, and horrific…
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Questions of Racism in Heart of Darkness
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Download file to see previous pages Then, there is the African canon, made, in the claim of Ngugi, through a recapturing of authentic language, voice, and narrative. This challenging point of view represents a disruption of the European canon and a challenge to Conrad’s notion of civilization and barbarity. 
strange land and their customs. “It is clearly not part of Conrad's purpose to confer language on the "rudimentary souls" of Africa. They only "exchanged short grunting phrases" even among themselves” (Achebe 1). From Achebe’s perspective, the interplay between a pre-industrial and an industrial society can exist with cooperation and empathy, but it can also exist with preconceived notions of superiority, ideas of backwardness, and the industrialist’s abject terror of slipping into a pre-industrial state. The hypocrisy evinced in this mindset becomes evident when the imperialist is inherently overwhelmed with the newness of the locality, and this hypocrisy displays itself in any number of ways. Like Kurtz, the imperialist could be driven to great psychopathic heights of ego, or like Marlow, they could gloss over their experiences with a sort of jaded “realism” that in reality only takes into account one side of the equation.
When it is stated that Ngugi uses Heart of Darkness as an intertext, this means that what Ngugi is doing is using Conrad’s work as a point of reference, as well as a point of departure.  So, there are similarities as well as differences.  In Conrad, Marlow sees the “pilgrims” as shallow masks mouthing the words of the old society, with nothing underneath:  “it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe” (Conrad 57).  Ngugi uses a similar technique when he is dealing with the members of the macabre and surreal Thieves’ Meeting.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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