Sunday, August 18, 2019
Colonization and Wealth in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness and Chinua
Colonization and Views on Wealth in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The novels Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe share a common theme; both deal with the colonization of Africa by settlers from Europe. When one examines the motives for this imperialist attitude in each book, one notices that in both books the motivation for colonization revolves around the gaining of wealth. However Conrad and Achebe define wealth differently. In Heart of Darkness the Europeans view wealth economically, such as the trading of ivory. In Things Fall Apart the idea of wealth is viewed by Europeans as belonging to and spreading the European culture and religion. Despite these different definitions of wealth, both groups of Europeans obtain their wealth by assuming a position of power over the Africans. However, the Africans in Things Fall Apart have an opposing view of wealth; that of peace and status within their society. Because of this they achieve wealth in a different manner than the Europeans. These methods of acquiring wealt h suggest that the conflicts in Africa are a result of the colonization efforts of the Europeans. The main reason for colonization of Africa by Europeans is for profit. In the novel Heart of Darkness, profit comes from the ivory that the Europeans receive from trade agreements with the Africans. This desire is evident as suggested in this quote: Ã¢â¬Å"The only real feeling was a desire to get appointed to a trading-post where ivory was to be had, so that they could earn percentagesÃ¢â¬ (Conrad 42). This statement shows that all the Europeans want from Africa is ivory. Therefore, it can be assumed that one of the main reasons that colonization to... ...onial conflict is entirely one sided. The Europeans have been shown to define wealth as gaining money and spreading their religion, therefore they can be seen as the aggressors in this conflict, reaching outside of their area for personal gain and profit. To obtain this wealth they assume a position of power over the Africans by enslaving them and using their knowledge to overthrow the African culture and religion. The Africans view of wealth and their method for obtaining this wealth in no way involves the Europeans. All that the Africans wanted to do was to continue living on their own and to not be intruded upon. From this, one can see that the colonial conflict is entirely due to the Europeans desire for wealth. Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.