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In “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a 1977 essay by the great Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, he states, Africa as setting and backdrop which eliminates the African as human factor. Africa as a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognizable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril. Can nobody see the preposterous and perverse arrogance in thus reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind? But that is not even the point. The real question is the dehumanization of Africa and Africans which this age-long attitude has fostered and continues to foster in the world. And the question is whether a novel which celebrates this dehumanization, which depersonalizes a portion of the human race, can be called a great work of art. My answer is: No, it cannot (6).
Discuss whether you agree whether Achebe’s contention that the racism he delineates in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness should preclude it from being considered as a great work of art.
DRAW SPECIFICALLY FROM THE TEXT. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. DO NOT REFERENCE OUTSIDE SOURCES (Google, Wikipedia, student guides, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.).
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