Heart Of Darkness By Chinua Achebe Essay

957 Words Mar 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Chinua Achebe and Lionel Trilling have very opposing views about Heart of Darkness. Achebe sees the text as written by a racist that does not deserve to have the novella in the canon while Trilling praises the writing and believes Heart of Darkness is worthy of being in the canon. Although in Heart of Darkness there are blatantly racist comments and tendencies that Achebe points out, I feel like Trilling’s essay best represents my experience when reading the novella. As I read Heart of Darkness I noticed the racism and was rather upset and appalled, but did not feel that it was the focus of the novella.

Achebe makes his opinion clear. He does “not doubt Conrad’s great talents” but emphasizes that Conrad was a “thoroughgoing racist”(Achebe 6-7). I agree, Conrad is racist, and racism has always been negative, but it seems like Achebe does not understand that at the time, in 1899, racism was very common and normal among the masses. Although it was normal, it was completely wrong. A human is a human no matter their color, beliefs, and customs, and differences in those do not make one inferior or superior. The main point of Achebe’s argument was to emphasize any racist portions from the text and use it as evidence to support his claim that Heart of Darkness should not be in the canon.

During his argument, Achebe seemed to go on rants. He was sarcastic and blunt, and seemed overly offended, which in my opinion rattled the quality of his argument.

The point of my observations…

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