Racism In Joseph Conrad's Hear Of Darkness

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Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness The question of racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is one that has been argued by many critics and renowned authors alike. The theory of racism being a dominant factor in this book is one that Chinnua Achebe defends in his essay, "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness"(251). However, C.P. Sarvan denies that racism is a major part of Heart of Darkness, but that the book portrays an illusion of England during the 1900's(280). Harold R. Collins also denounces Chinnua Achebe's essay and believes that Heart of Darkness actually demoralizes the European man in Africa by exploiting the laziness of the Europeans versus the Africans (TCLC 104). Even Edward Garnett has a totally different view about racism in this book, in the essay entitled Psychological Power of Heart of Darkness (Bloom's 25).

First, Chinnua Achebe would like the readers of his essay to agree with what he declares as "bloody racist" (251).

By using phrases instead of complete sentences from Heart of Darkness. For example, when Achebe quotes Marlow's description of Kurtz's mistress, he only quotes the "savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent" and that "she is a savage counterpart to the refined, European woman who will step forth to end the story" (Conrad 60). He does not bother with the details of Kurtz's intended; to elaborate on the description that Marlow as it gives would discredit his theory. Another example is when Achebe quotes part of Marlow's comment about the cannibals; "fine fellows"”cannibals"”in their place"(254). Once again he fails to provide the whole meaning that Marlow is trying to depict about the difference between the cannibals and Europeans. Achebe's continues to hook the reader of his essay by using the following two quotes: "Catch "˜im," he...