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Things Fall Apart vs. Heart of Darkness

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Sam Carlton

on 29 January 2014

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart vs. Heart of Darkness

Things Fall Apart vs. Heart of Darkness

Sam Carlton


Reasons why they were written
Heart of Darkness
Darkness of Europe
Things Fall Apart
A very different Africa
Russian vs. Ezinma
Similar characters
Characters
Things Fall Apart in the Heart of Darkness
Themes
"Real" Africa vs. "Fake" Africa
Mr. Smith
The world is black and white.
Conclusion
Things Fall Apart
Rebuttal against Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" novel.
Wanted to show that blacks aren't savages
Also wanted to show that Europeans ruined black's way of life
Heart of Darkness
Nwoye resembles Mr. Kurtz because the environment changed him. Nwoye follows Kurtz's path.

"Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell" (Achebe 53).
Things Fall Apart
Okonkwo commits suicide after the whites come (religon)
Unlike his father, Nwoye converts to Christianity (like Mr. Kurtz)
Heart of Darkness
This was really about the white people who colonized Africa. It doesn't show a true interpretation of Africa of the Africans themselves. It never showed Africa through the eyes of the natives. Africans were depicted as animals the entire time.
Africa
Blacks vs. whites
Colonization
Things Fall Apart
This was more about the black point of view. It did the exact opposite of HoD. It depicted the whites as the bad guys for making them switch to their religion. This is evident when Okonkwo commits suicide.
Europeans saw blacks as savages.
Marlow constantly referred to darkness and lightness which shows Conrad's racism. Blacks represented the darkness and whites represented the lightness.

"[London] has been one of the dark places of the earth" (Conrad 67).
Continued Quotes
"A running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds" (Conrad 68).
"We live in the flicker . . . darkness was here yesterday" (Conrad 68).
Okonkwo exiled himself.
Religion pushed on Africans
Readers can actually "see" the Africans.
Family, religion, leaders, titles, language, and laws.
Continued
"There is somebody walking behind me! . . . Whether you are spirit or man, may Agbala shave your head with a blunt razor! May he twist your neck until you see your heels!" (Achebe 74).
Russian
Loyal to Mr. Kurtz
Nursed him through two illnesses
Sees him as a God figure
Ezinma
Loved by Okonkwo
Shows similar strategies
Puts off marriage until family comes out of exile
Seen as masculine and loyal to Okonkwo - even gaining his respect
Personality
Popular white last name
Strict and harsh
Doesn't care about customs culture
Forces the people of Umuofia to convert to Christianity
Quote
"Mr Smith was greatly distressed by the ignorance which many of his flock showed even in such things as the Trinity and the Sacraments. It only showed that they were seeds sown on a rocky soil. Mr. Brown had thought of nothing but numbers. He should have known that the kingdom of God did not depend on large crowds. Our Lord Himself stressed the importance of fewness. Narrow is the way and few the number. To fill the Lord's holy temple with an idolatrous crowd clamoring for signs was a folly of everlasting consequence. Our lord used the whip only once in His life - to drive the crowd away from his church" (Achebe 130).
Heart of Darkness
The world is many shades of grey.

Kurtz thought he knew the Africans - saw a different side of them (Marlow throwing white off boat)
Between the two
When two different kinds of people with two with different cultures, it is disastrous.
Things Fall Apart
Culture

Okonkwo's desire not to be like his father
Commits suicide for feeling he's disappointed his people
Would rather die than let whites control him
Heart of Darkness
Liked to travel
Near death experience
Went to Britain
Sixteen years in British Navy
Sympathizes with Africans
Racism
Colonists
Mr. Kurtz
Wasn't turned into a bad man
Corruption and greed of whites
White men show their true colors
"Black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the trunks, clinging to the earth in all attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair they were nothing earthly now, nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation. One of these creatures rose to his hands and knees and went off on all fours towards the river to drink" (Conrad 17).
Creatures, not humans
Black shadows
"Invaded [by] the contorted mangroves that seemed to write at us in the extremity of an impotent despair" (14).
"Mangroves" = whites
Goes back on what he says
Between the two
Between the two
Marlow seems to be by himself at night, only seeing masks which he's made up to be the Africans
"mostly black and naked, move about like ants" (79).
"figures" (93).
"atrocious phantom[s]" (135).
"dark human shapes" (136).
"swift shadows" (137).
Marlow depicts the Africans
Directed at Marlow
Full transcript