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An Image Of Africa Achebe Critique Free Essays
It was Achebe in the 60s, as the founding editor of the African Writers Series, who was kind enough to have a look at the scribblings of a budding young writer, and guide him into publishing famous books in the series like Weep Not Child, The River Between and A Grain of Wheat.
Achebe opens his lecture, "An Image of Africa," with the story of a student who sent him a letter saying how he was "particularly happy to learn about the customs and superstitions of an African tribe," not realizing that "the life of his own tribesmen in Yonkers, New York, is full of odd customs and superstitions" as well (1784). Western thought perceives African culture and religion as customs and superstitions rather than just an alternative form of culture and religion. Calling them superstitions is not merely using alternative vocabulary, but is a conscious degradation of the practices. In Things Fall Apart, the religious practices of Okonkwo's tribe are taken very seriously and the white man's religion is described as crazy and their god as merely a fetish. However, the villagers do not fail to notice that "the white man's fetish had unbelievable power" when the men who built a church within the evil forest failed to die as they should have (149). Rather than dismissing the European religion because of its difference, the locals noted its power even though they did not understand how it worked. After conflict with the new church, the village "decided to ostracize the Christians" (159). The new converts were pushed outside of the community because they had become involved with the strange, foreign superstitions and customs. Through the tribe's relation with the new church, Achebe reversed the roles that African and European religion had played in previously existing colonial literature: the European religion became mere superstition while African religion remained true religion.
An Image Of Africa Achebe Critique
Chinua Achebe not only criticized colonial works like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, but wrote a new story in the emerging postcolonial style that counters many of the degrading stereotypes that colonial literature has placed on Africa. In his lecture, "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness," Achebe documents the ways that Conrad dehumanizes Africans by reducing their religious practices to superstition, saying that they should remain in their place, taking away their ability of speech, and depreciating their complex geography to just a single mass of jungle. Achebe carefully crafts Things Fall Apart to counter these stereotypes and show that Africa is in fact a rich land full of intelligent people who are, in fact, very human.
Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, stresses Conrad's depiction of Africa as the antithesis of Europe and civilization, and the animal imagery present throughout the novella.
Chinua achebe an image of africa analysis essay
In addition, Things Fall Apart contains passages which show that Africans are able to learn and converse in the European languages. There are only two instances in Heart of Darkness, "when Conrad departs somewhat from his practice and confers speech, even English speech, on the savages," and these are used by Conrad, according to Achebe, only to reinforce the savagery of the Africans (1788). By taking away the capability of speech from the Africans, Conrad implied that they were subhuman in their communication skills. In contrast, Achebe tells of interpreters that had learned the white man's language and were able to translate freely between the two languages: "the white man began to speak to them. He spoke through an interpreter who was an Ibo man" (144). This Ibo man's ability to translate between the two languages showed that he was advanced enough to communicate not only in one language, but in two very different ones. Later, Achebe documents instances in which the white missionary, Mr. Kiaga, was conversing with the Umuofia Christian converts in clear English which they had learned quickly. "'Before God,' he said, "there is no slave or free. We are all children of God and we must receive these our brothers'" (156). The converts understood what Mr. Kiaga was saying here, even though he was speaking of abstract thoughts in a foreign language to them. This shows that the Ibo people were proficient enough in their newly acquired English to hold complex conversations. The savages that Conrad described would never have been able to communicate so humanly.
The reader follows Marlow, the novel's narrator, along such a journey. His psychological changes as he approaches the heart of darkness are evident, as the reader observes, in his views of the African natives, lying and Kurtz. Marlow is an honest man. He sets out on a genuine search for answe...
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A Critique of Chinua Achebe’s “An Image of Africa” Essay
At its best, multiculturalism can be attractive as well-deployed theory. What could be more valuable than encountering the best work of far-flung cultures and becoming a citizen of the world? But in the current consumer environment, where flattery plays so well, the urge to encounter the other can devolve into the urge to find others who embody and celebrate the right ethnic origins. So we put aside the African novelist Chinua Achebe's abrasive, troubling Things Fall Apart and gravitate toward hymns on Africa, cradle of all civilizations.
Free Reading |⌆ An Image of Africa by Chinua Achebe ⇒ …
And the single book which has helped him to launch his "revolution" is the classic, Things Fall Apart. The focus of this essay includes: 1) Achebe's portraiture of women in his fictional universe, the existing sociocultural situation of the period he is depicting, and the factors in it that condition male attitudes towards women; 2) the consequences of the absence of a moderating female principle in his fictions; 3) Achebe's progressively changing attitude towards women s roles; and 4) feminist prospects for African women....
An image of africa achebe essay - edupreneurthebook
To some professors, the solution lies in the movement called cultural studies. What students need, they believe, is to form a critical perspective on pop culture. It's a fine idea, no doubt. Students should be able to run a critical commentary against the stream of consumer stimulations in which they're immersed. But cultural-studies programs rarely work, because no matter what you propose by way of analysis, things tend to bolt downhill toward an uncritical discussion of students' tastes, into what they like and don't like. If you want to do a Frankfurt School-style analysis of Braveheart, you can be pretty sure that by mid-class Adorno and Horkheimer will be consigned to the junk heap of history and you'll be collectively weighing the charms of Mel Gibson. One sometimes wonders if cultural studies hasn't prospered because, under the guise of serious intellectual analysis, it gives the customers what they most want -- easy pleasure, more TV. Cultural studies becomes nothing better than what its detractors claim it is -- Madonna studies -- when students kick loose from the critical perspective and groove to the product, and that, in my experience teaching film and pop culture, happens plenty.
Chinua achebe an image of africa essay - IES Energy
Chinua Achebe wrote the novel, Things Fall Apart, which is a great piece of African literature that deals with the Igbo culture, history, and the taking over of African lands by British colonization.
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