Chinua Achebe on Heart of Darkness

Book Report/Review
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The paradox of the critique presented by Achebe upon 'Heart of darkness' and in turn Conrad himself, that he is using the same premise to set up his case, as the one which he attempts to ridicule. The problem of racism, which he feels is evident in the writings and perception of Conrad, is actually an issue of localized conception of reality - something of which the critic has become a victim himself.


The issue of truth in terms of actual reality is a paradigm that has never really been understood to its fullest since man has learnt to think. This reality can be identified with, and the highest virtue can subsequently be attained by means of taking it in a way that it actually is. Contemplation gives insight, and ultimately self-actualization; this should in turn give way to the actual truth, and nullify any metaphor being used as a faade to a reality. On the same lines, Conrad has presented his version of the life that he saw in Africa. This version had ideas and experiences that were true to his own self, and he did not have a personal vendetta against the locals of the continent. He just found a striking cultural difference between himself and his hosts, and this he represented in the script subsequently.
If in the face of conflict, one tends to shy away from the true sense of being, then it can never really come out. Under normal circumstances, it is always simple to portray oneself; however, the true test of character is when there is antagonism, and yet still a person can attain truth by means of beings what he truly is. This adversity was faced by the author in his own experiences. ...
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