Things Fall Apart vs. Heart of Darkness Essay

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Pages: 7

African Colonization through Literature: Things Fall Apart Vs. Heart of Darkness

History is an extraordinary mix of truth and fiction. The dichotomy that is bred from different historic al perspectives opens the eyes of those who study history to the semi-fabricated nature of much of humanities past. For most of recorded history, events have been recorded and retold through the eyes of the victors. Only recently have people had the opportunity to view both sides of issues. The Western practice of free speech has allowed both victors and victims to tell their tal es. A glimmering example of differences in historical opinion pertains to the colonization of Africa by Europeans. For years the commonly accepted notion about Africa was
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The first half of the fifth stanza of the poem reads, “Take up the White Man's burden, and reap his old reward, the blame of those ye better, the hate of those ye guard.” From this passage a reader can garner a better understanding of Kipling’s take on the white man’s burden. Westerners saw imperialism as a duty and a burden and a duty. They felt that they were aiding the people of the world and that the people of the world were unappreciative. The sixth stanza further reinforces this point when it says, “Ye dare not stoop to less, nor call too loud on Freedom, to cloak your weariness; By all ye cry or whisper, by all ye leave or do, the silent, sullen peoples, shall weigh your gods and you.” From the evidence presented above it is clear that at the time of imperialism and colonization Europeans believed that they were doing the world a favor and that, to some extent, they were the victims, paying a price for their service to the world. For years there was no rebuttal to Western thought about the colonization of Africa. It was a sad truth that the voices of the Africans had never been heard. This changed when African native Chinua Achebe published his novel Things Fall Apart. Achebe grew up in Nigeria in an Ibo village not unlike the one that provides the setting in his novel. He received a scholarship for college because of his writing skills and was educated at