Get help from the best in academic writing.

Prejudice and Racism in Heart of Darkness, A Grain of Wheat, and A small place

The Literary Response to Racism in Heart of Darkness, A Grain of Wheat, and A small place

Racism and prejudice can be regarded as both societal and individual phenomena, developed and manifested at all levels of society; from government policy through organizational structures, inter-group and interpersonal interactions to intra-personal attitudes and feelings. Media and literature react to these perceptions and have taken part in shaping the attitudes and feelings of society. The novels “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, “A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Jamaica Kincaid’s essay “A small place” represent a literary response to the insidious tool of racism in colonial and postcolonial history.

Racism has typically been reflected by structural inequalities rooted in history and been perpetuated over time. The belief that one group was inferior to another was essential in order to justify the process of dispossessing indigenous groups of their land during colonization. The colonial powers instituted and maintained differentials between different ethnic and cultural groups by parceling out admission to education or employment, and by restricting access to law and medical care. These inequalities consequently served to emphasize difference rather than similarity among the colonized and the colonizer, thus reinforcing stereotypes of superiority or inferiority. The policies and practices were aimed to reflect a belief that the dominant culture is the “normal” one, which served as a standard by which all else could be judged.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is an African post-colonialist writer who portrays his experience of colonial racism from a native’s view. In his novel A Grain of Wheat, he picture…

… middle of paper …

…o. 7

The Post Colonial Studies Reader: Editors Bill Ashcroft; Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. Publisher: Routledge New York, 1999

DiBeta, Karen: A Grain of Wheat: Dispelling the Great Myth Accessed June 29, 2001

Human Rights Watch: Leave No One to Tell the Story. Genocide in Ruanda.Doc.# 171-1 Accessed June 19, 2001

Eurofic: European Forum for International Cooperation. Platform of the European Commission on Development and Cooperation, 115 Rue Stepin, Brussels, Belgium Accessed June 21, 2001

Omoregie, F.K: Rodney, Cabral and Ngugi as Guides to African Postcolonial Literature English Department, University of Botswana Accessed June 28, 2001

Arthur Miller’s Death Of a Salesman Exposes Morals and Values of American Culture

Arthur Miller’s Death Of a Salesman Exposes Morals and Values of American Culture

Arthur Miller’s play, “Death Of a Salesman” is a very elaborate play that tells the story of a man’s dream to achieve greatness from nothing. It almost seems to make fun of American society’s competitive nature, “Imagine? When the mail comes he’ll be ahead of Bernard again!” Willy(1215)

The title “Death Of a Salesman” leaves nothing to the imagination of how this play ends. Indeed this is a story about the noble, cowardly death of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman.

Arthur Miller used the efficient idea of using flashbacks to allow the play to take place within a few days instead of years. Willy Loman as the central character, lives with his wife, Linda and has two sons, Biff (elder) and Happy.

Willy Loman who is quite literally a “low man” has so many personality traits accurate to real life, this is no surprise since Miller based Willy’s character on his uncle, Manny Newman. Miller said, “That homely, ridiculous little man had after all never ceased to struggle for a certain victory, the only kind open to him in society – selling to achieve his lost self as a man with his name and his son’s name on a business of his own”

Willy was defiantly in a struggle however, he was certainly not in a struggle to convince himself he was doing better than he really was, “I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own.” Willy (1165).

Willy Loman did not want to die, he went to Ben to seek approval of what he thought would please the family”…Ben, I want you to go through the ins and outs of this thing with me. I’ve got nobody to talk to, Ben, and the woman has suffered, you hear me?” Willy (1210) He also proved this with his many “near incidents” and the rubber pipe. According to “Suicide:The facts and myths” by Judi Marks, “Attempted suicides are a sorrowful form of communication, but they’re also trial runs for the final event.”

Anyone who commits suicide actually does not want to die and reality, just wants a solution to end their problems or pains. In this case Willy’s problem was he thought he was so well-liked by society, however what he wanted most was for his sons to like him, and for his wife to not have to suffer his torment anymore.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.