An Analysis of Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa : Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness book cover
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An Analysis of Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa
Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness





ISBN 9781912127771
Published July 19, 2017 by Macat Library
88 Pages

 
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Book Description

Few works of scholarship have so comprehensively recast an existing debate as Chinua Achebe’s essay on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Achebe – a highly distinguished Nigerian novelist and university teacher – looked with fresh eyes at a novel that was set in Africa, but in which Africans appear only as onlookers or as indistinguishable "savages". Dismissing the prevailing portrayal of Joseph Conrad as a liberal hero whose anti-imperialist views insulated him from significant criticism, Achebe re-cast the Polish author as a "bloody racist" in an analysis so cogent it changed the way in which his discipline looked not only at Conrad, but also at all works with settings indicative of racial conflict.

The creative contribution of Achebe’s essay lies in delving far beneath the surface of Conrad’s novel; he not only generated new and highly influential hypotheses about the author's modes of thought and motivations, but also redefined the entire debate over Heart of Darkness. Just because the novel had been accepted into the "canon", and now falls into the class of “permanent literature”, Achebe says, does not mean we should not question it closely – or criticize its author.

Table of Contents

Ways In to the Text 

Who was Chinua Achebe? 

What does An Image of Africa Say? 

Why does An Image of Africa Matter

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr Clare Clarke holds a PhD in English Literature from Queen's University Belfast, specialising in Victorian Literature. She currently teaches Nineteenth-Century Literature at Trinity College Dublin.