Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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“Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth. But the victims of racist slander who for centuries have to live...

“Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth. But the victims of racist slander who for centuries have to live with inhumanity it makes them heir to have always known better than any casual visitor even when he comes loaded with the gifts of a Conrad” (Chinua Achebe).

Achebe argues that Conrad, while providing a criticism of “imperial exploitation”, does not sufficiently take the ‘Other’ voice into account. Is Achebe’s argument justified? Provide textual reference to support your answer.

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In the novel ‘Heart Of Darkness’ Conrad explores how imperialism affects colonist and native alike, but in different ways. For a long time the novel was acclaimed and it’s author respected for his expose’ .However, more recently, other writers and experts have expressed disquiet with Joseph Conrad ’s views. To say that Achebe argues that Conrad, while providing a criticism of “imperial exploitation”, does not sufficiently take the ‘Other’ voice into account is perhaps a little simplistic. As an author himself he would be well aware of the complexity of imperialistic legacies and the long term consequences of strategies such as ‘divide and rule’ or partition or making a native population dependent on a ruling aggressor. Other commentators have observed that it is the novel itself, not Conrad, which should not be held up as a championing voice against racism....

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