Conrad’s Heart of Darkness & Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

ASSIGNMENT for RESEARCH PAPER Read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Compare the effects of colonialism on the main characters in the two works. Provide three (3) pages of discussion, while making certain that you include an equal amount of discussion on each work. In addition to your discussion on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, select two (2) points of criticism on a major character from each literary source for this assignment. This means you must include a total of four (4) points of criticism. You MUST PARAPHRASE the information you borrow from the two literary analyses. DO NOT QUOTE FROM THE CRITICAL SOURCES (literary analyses). Include PARENTHETICAL DOCUMENTATION along with each of your four points of criticism. This ensures that the author of each borrowed idea will receive credit for his or her idea(s). You may use Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide (online guide) to correctly document the sources in your paper. Right click below to access this source. Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide – Purdue Online Writing … (Links to an external site.) Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.) Links to an external site. Include no more than two (2) brief quotations from each work of literature. Brief quotations should be no more than three lines each. You must include YOUR WORDS/IDEAS along with your FOUR POINTS OF CRITICISM and FOUR QUOTATIONS from the two works of literature in this discussion. See the “Rubric for Research Paper” included in Modules. This rubric will be used to evaluate this paper. GUIDELINES FOR PAPERS Include a minimum of six (6) well-structured paragraphs (introduction, four (4) body paragraphs, and conclusion. Write in 3rd person. Use present tense to discuss literary work(s), but past tense to discuss author(s). Include title(s) and author(s) in the introduction. The thesis must be the last sentence in your introduction. Your topic sentence must be the first sentence in each body paragraph. Include a minimum of 7-8 well-structured sentences in the introduction and in each body paragraph. Include a minimum of three (3) sentences in the conclusion. See the penalty for academic misconduct (cheating) in Coastal Alabama’s catalog. MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU SUBMIT THE CORRECT FILE FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT IN THIS CLASS. LATE WORK/FILES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED! Submit this research paper through Turnitin by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2018. No papers will be accepted after this deadline! There will be no exceptions! The FINAL EXAM/QUIZZES will be timed and will contain all multiple-choice items. More information concerning the FINAL EXAM/QUIZZES has been included in Important Course Information in Modules. LECTURE NOTES Conrad’s Heart of Darkness In Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the author shares the narrative of Marlow’s voyage up the Congo River. The unnamed narrator who begins the story and the other three travelers, who are identified only by their professions, seem to embody the principles and perceptions of the British institution. Imperialism—the economic, political, and military domination of one country over another—is the main subject of the novella. The narrator shares the conventional opinion that imperialism is a magnificent, commendable enterprise. Marlow is critical of imperialism, for it demeans Europeans by causing them to become violent as a result of the aggression and anarchy of the environment. Marlow believes that it is not possible to civilize the natives. He is horrified when he observes the brutal abusive treatment that the natives receive. Marlow acknowledges the kinship that exists between Europeans and black Africans, but admits that this relationship is repulsive and appalling. He travels to Africa in the service of a Belgian company. The yellow patch that Marlow observes on the center of the map in the company office identifies the place where some of the most alarming murders have been committed to promote colonialism. The Belgian ruler advocates colonialism, and the Belgian method of attaining it is the bloodiest and cruelest. The chief accountant first mentions the mystifying Kurtz; he speaks favorably of Kurtz, while briefly mentioning a conspiracy within the company. The chief accountant demonstrates his success in the colonial world through his attire. As Marlow continues his journey through the heart of the colony, he becomes more aware of the brutality experienced by the natives. With a convoy of sixty men Marlow travels for two hundred miles and fifteen days before reaching the decrepit Central Station, where he observes the superficiality of the men. For example, one man uses a bucket with a hole in it to extinguish a fire. Marlow learns that the steamer that he expected to command has sunk. The general manager has taken the steamer out two days earlier along with a volunteer skipper, and they have torn the bottom out on some rocks. Consequently, Marlow remains there three months completing repairs to the steamer to continue his journey. He suspects that this damage to the steamer is deliberate, perhaps, to delay his rescue of Kurtz, who is extremely ill. The brick maker informs Marlow that Kurtz is a genius. After more discussion with the brick maker about Kurtz, Marlow believes that this man perceives Kurtz to be a threat to his advancement. Thus, maneuverings of the manager and the brick maker indicate their evil plans. Marlow regards his journey as an expedition to primitive earth, but he believes these savages are similar to Europeans, as the English were when Rome colonized Britain. After Marlow separates himself from the manager and the others, he realizes that black Africans are no different from other people. The pilgrims on the steamer are brutal, while the cannibals are well behaved. The natives use primitive weapons, arrows and spears, to attack the ship, and they kill the African helmsman. Marlow blows the whistle, which frightens the attackers away. He wonders whether Kurtz is now dead, as well. Marlow seems to have become obsessed with thoughts of Kurtz. Based upon information that he has received concerning Kurtz, Marlow greatly admires him for being charismatic and compassionate initially and for promoting civilization of the natives. However, Kurtz has become avaricious and cold blooded when Marlow encounters him. He is consumed with greed, wanting all of the ivory for himself. The natives regard him as some sort of god; consequently, Kurtz, perhaps, feels isolated. The Russian trader has full confidence in Kurtz; he accepts him as his leader, allowing him to provide direction as needed in all matters. Marlow realizes that Kurtz is insane as a result of his experiences in the Inner Station. In spite of Marlow’s fascination with Kurtz, he understands that Kurtz has a dark side, and so does he. Kurtz’s written document on the destruction of savage traditions is in opposition to his statement, “Exterminate all the brutes!” The manager and the Russian trader cannot fathom the bond that Kurtz shares with his African mistress. The romantic relationships that Kurtz enjoys with his black mistress and his white European fiancée (his Intended) are similar in that he bestows luxurious items upon both to show his achievement and affluence. Marlow and Kurtz meet each other alone in a dark forest. Kurtz has almost reached the point of complete insanity and is totally depraved; in fact, Marlow considers strangling Kurtz, but the natives may retaliate, and Kurtz has little time left to live. Marlow concludes that Kurtz’s insanity and greed are the result of his experiences in Africa. Kurtz has the potential to commit any type of action; Marlow realizes that he may possess similar capabilities. Since he seems to share a kinship with Kurtz and understands him, Marlow refuses to support the manager against Kurtz. Rapidly approaching death, Kurtz asks Marlow to preserve his heritage as well as his dreams. The meaning of Kurtz’s last words “The horror! The horror!” is ambiguous. Like Kurtz, Marlow becomes ill, but pulls through. In Brussels, Marlow remains loyal to Kurtz by making certain that he is selective about whom he tells his story—only to those who are able to comprehend it. The people from Kurtz’s earlier life regard him as an exceptional leader or sage. Aboard the Nellie Marlow narrates his experiences to the other men who promote imperialism and benefit financially from it, while Marlow gains knowledge and understanding. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Achebe’s Things Fall Apart demonstrates concern for the quality of human relations for individuals as well as society. Whether describing Okonkwo’s family, interactions between neighbors and villages, the evolution of traditional Igbo society in response to internal and external pressures, or the arrival of British missionaries and colonial administrators, Achebe has a sharp and often ironic eye for the shifting balances of human relationships. His characters are strongly drawn, but they are never simplified, from the briefly mentioned couple Ndulue and Ozoemena, whose mutual devotion amazes Okonkwo, to the complex character of the hero himself. Okonkwo is introduced at the beginning as a powerful, determined man who stutters when emotional. He is arrogant and sometimes violent, but can be tender in his relationship with his wife Ekwefi and kind when caring for Ezinma during her fever. Embarrassed by his father’s laziness, dishonorable death, and lack of title, Okonkwo is obligated early to support the entire family. Throughout the novel, Okonkwo struggles desperately to eradicate any sign of inherited “feminine” weakness in himself or his son Nwoye. In fact, he murders Ikemefuna even though he feels an attachment to him to avoid appearing weak. Okonkwo is shattered for days after he murders Ikemefuna. This persistence in warlike masculine fearlessness corresponds with traditional Igbo values, and Okonkwo rises high in his tribe as long as these values are predominant. Nonetheless, things are already starting to fall apart. Internal pressures are at work, which lead to change. Obierika disapproves of the mission to kill Ikemefuna, and he later starts to question the exposure of twins; the osu (outcasts) are not content with their status and will quickly convert to Christianity. Nwoye is miserable because of his father’s bullying, and he cannot forget that his father has killed his foster brother Ikemefuna. The process of things falling apart is accelerated and distorted by the arrival of British missionaries, administrators, and the new stores. Traditional social and religious beliefs and the authority of the villages to control themselves are rapidly becoming history. In the first two-thirds of the novel, Umuofia’s harmonious culture has been clearly established. In the final third, the author provides a different description of the all-encompassing colonial presence. The British rulers govern a population whose language and customs they have no desire to comprehend; they view the populace of Umuofia as exotic beings about whom one writes scientific documents. The rulers employ court messengers to convey orders, but the messengers become corrupt and use their authority to swindle and take advantage of the common people. The District Commissioner lies to gain control of the village leaders and throws them into jail until the villagers have paid an excessive fine. Okonkwo’s passionate resistance to this abuse and deception would make him even more of a hero if his society had not changed. Okonkwo is eventually crushed by the same qualities that sustain his greatness. He resorts to violence to solve problems: he beats Ekwefi, his favorite wife, and narrowly misses shooting her. His son Nwoye converts to Christianity (changing his name to Isaac) seeking to gain his father’s approval. Okonkwo’s courage and readiness to battle are obsolete in the new time and ineffective against the power of the colonial government. The Igbo community is afraid of defying this same power who has jailed their leaders; consequently, when they meet, the Igbo people are uncertain of how to respond. Umuofia is caught unprepared, weakened from within, and unable to do anything except submit. Okonkwo is ready to act singularly, separate from the community that has previously provided perspective and reference point. Time has passed both Okonkwo and Umuofia. His enraged execution of the authoritative court messenger isolates him totally from the community he has just endangered, and it leads him to commit suicide, for he is unwilling to change. Suicide is a disgraceful or unthinkable death, just like his father’s, and this outrage further separates “one of the greatest men of Umuofia” from the clan. On the last page Obierika’s emotional tribute to his friend contrasts bleakly with the suggestion that this tale of flawed classic heroism will be buried in the archives of colonial history as a “reasonable paragraph [in the District Commissioner’s book] The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.”

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