Week 4 – “Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” Achebe

October 20, 2007

I remember spending a great deal of time in my college freshman English class comparing the colonial attitude in Heart of Darkness with Hitler’s oppression and extermination of the Jews. We also compared it to Jonathan Swift’s depiction of the Yahoos in Gulliver’s Travels, with horses behaving in vastly more human ways than those vile creatures who retained Gulliver’s general appearance. This is more us/them mentality, raising the questions of what it means to be human and whether there is or isn’t a superior race (like George Orwell’s telling point in Animal Farm: all animals are created equal, but some of them are more equal than others).


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