Response to Achebe

Achebe’s “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness'” was definitely an eye-opening read. I found myself noticing things about “Heart of Darkness”  from Achebe’s point of view that I didn’t necessarily think about while I was reading the text. For example, the actions and demeanor of the “savages”. I think that Achebe is correct in his proclamation that in the history of our world (and even in today’s world) there is still a stigma or an ignorance that exists when the customs and practices of the people of Africa are addressed. It is also the people of these countries that are a product of this ignorance. Such as the man described in the beginning of the Achebe’s article. It seemed like the man didn’t have any doubts about the history of Africa, that there simply wasn’t any (or any worth learning about) and that was it. It is also more than likely that this man has never been to Africa, therefore would have to rely on others accounts (i.e Heart of Darkness) to understand. I think Achebe is correct in saying that this is the problem. The surrounding cultures project Africa as an uncivilized environment,dark, and inhumane. Rather than exploring the humanity that does exist there, they let their own ignorance and the ignorance that they’ve been conditioned in their society to have taint their point of view.Sadly, I think this is an idea that still goes on today.

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