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Conrad vs. Achebe

            Webster's dictionary defines racism as "discrimination against the members of one or more races based upon racism." Does Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness suggest that he is a member of this definition's description? Not in the least. In his book, Conrad expresses that he is against what the Englishmen are doing in taking over the African's land. Then, in his article, Achebe says that Conrad is racist because of how he projects the Africans in an intelligence manner. Also, Conrad is not racist, he is just inexperienced. Conrad is not racist, and his book should not be regarded as so.
             The first reason why Conrad is not racist is the fact that he expresses that he is against what the Englishmen are doing in taking over the African's land. He shows that the Africans were worked but they perform in a proud, no complaining manner. Conrad says: "It was something natural, that had its reason, that had a meaning. Now and then a boat from the shore gave one momentary contact with reality. It was paddled by black fellows. You could see from afar the white of their eyeballs glistening. They shouted, sang; their bodies streamed with perspiration; they had faces like grotesque masks- these chaps; but they had bone, muscle, a wild vitality, an intense energy of movement, that was as natural as the surf along their coast. They wanted no excuse for being there. They were a great comfort to look at"(30). Conrad is complimenting the Africans, and also saying that they are a comfort to him. He is not putting them down, but complimenting them.
             The second reason why Conrad is not racist is because Achebe says that the way he makes African's speak shows that he is racist, this is not true. Achebe says that because Conrad has the Africans say things such as "Mistah Kurtz- he dead," and the way he describes the tribe's speech as "short grunting violent babble of uncouth sounds," he is implying that the African's are unintelligent(Conrad 112)(Achebe 255).

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