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Heart of darkness research paper
 

Heart of darkness research paper

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    Heart of darkness research paper Heart of darkness research paper Document Transcript

    • Heart of Darkness Research Paper English 10/Mr. Kelly Due Date: Friday, March 21st (email to mkellyenglish@gmail.com and hand a hard copy to MK) Total value: 25 points For this paper, you will be asked to read and respond to literary criticism about Heart of Darkness, in particular essays that address the theme of racism or imperialism in the novel. Your goal for this essay is identify and explain two different critical views about either racism or imperialism in Heart of Darkness, and then to argue, based on evidence from the novel, which of these views is more compelling and why. There are eight critical essays that discuss racism and/or imperialism in the novel posted on the assignment web page, and they are described at the bottom of this document. -------------------------------------------------- The title of your paper must follow the “catchy phrase/colon/topic of paper” format. (For example titles, refer to the essays by Achebe, Mongia, and Trench-Bonett.) Your title must be in plain 12-point font, and do not put your title in quotes. Your thesis paragraph must include the following:  A brief paraphrase of the critical views you will quote and discuss in your paper;  A thesis that o states which of the critical views is most compelling; o provides a roadmap of the textual evidence from the novel that you will use to support your thesis. Your first body paragraph must include an explanation of critical view #1.  Use at least two direct and at least two indirect references to the critical essay in this paragraph, and quote and cite the source using MLA style.  Do not summarize the entire essay; instead, explain one key point that the critic makes about racism or imperialism in Heart of Darkness. Your second body paragraph should transition smoothly from paragraph #1 and must include an explanation of critical view #2.  As with your first body paragraph, your second body paragraph must include at least two direct and at least two indirect references to the critical essay in this paragraph, and quote and cite using MLA style.  Do not summarize the entire essay; instead, explain one key point that the critic makes about racism or imperialism in the novel. Your third paragraph should transition smoothly from your second body paragraph by reasserting which of the two critical views is more compelling and why, and your third and fourth body paragraphs must provide a full defense or your thesis.  In these paragraphs, provide a complete defense of your thesis using evidence from the novel.  Feel free to qualify the critical argument you are supporting if necessary.  Both of these paragraphs must contain direct and indirect references to the novel, and your quotations must be correctly integrated and cited.  Be sure to clearly connect your textual evidence to your thesis. Your conclusion must complete your argument and contain a final relevant point in support of your thesis. You must include a works cited page at the end of your essay.
    • Essays to Use in Your Heart of Darkness Research Paper The following essays discuss the issues of race and/or colonialism in Heart of Darkness.  Essay title: “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness” by Chinua Achebe, 1977. MK’s notes: This is the seminal 1977 essay by Chinua Achebe in which he labels Conrad “a thoroughgoing racist” and attacks Conrad’s portrayal of Africa and Africans in the novel. Reading level: basic/intermediate.  Essay title: “Colonizers, Cannibals, and the Horror of Good Intentions in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness” by Carola M. Kaplan, 1997. MK’s notes: In this essay, Kaplan discusses Conrad’s treatment of race, gender, and colonialism. She argues that “binary oppositions” in the novel such as “truth and lies…men and women…civilization and savagery…and…Self and Other” eventually “collapse.” Reading level: advanced.  Essay title: “Envisioning Africa” by Peter Edgerly Firchow, 2004. MK’s notes: In this essay, Firchow discusses Conrad’s portrayal of Africa and Africans in Heart of Darkness and defends Conrad’s work against the attacks of China Achebe. Among other things, Firchow argues that the novel “is not really about Africa at all; it is really about the deepest psychic fears in Conrad's and his readers' psyches” and that the novel is not meant to present a “one-sided, chemically pure” depiction of Africa but one that portrays Africa through irony, symbolism, multiple points of view, and a blend of comedy and tragedy. Reading level: intermediate.  Essay title: “Naming and Silence: A Study of Language and the Other in Conrad's Heart of Darkness” by Dorothy Trench-Bonett, 2000. MK’s notes: This essay counters claims that Conrad is a racist by examining the names he uses for Africans and argues that the novel “does not dehumanize the native peoples of the Congo, but shows the ways in which they were dehumanized during the terrible period of King Leopold's reign.” Reading level: intermediate.  Essay title: “The Rescue: Conrad, Achebe, and the Critics” by Padmini Mongia, 2001. MK’s notes: In this essay, Mongia surveys the arguments made in response to Achebe’s 1977 essay ““An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness.” Reading level: basic/intermediate.  Essay title: “Heart of Darkness and Late-Victorian Fascination with the Primitive and the Double” by Samir Elbarbary, 1993. MK’s notes: In this essay, Elbarbary describes Heart of Darkness as a “neo-primitivist” story, a type of story, popular in the late 19th-century, that dealt “human ‘primitive’ duality…and the interconnectedness of genius and insanity” (115) and which illustrated the “fascination with primordial darkness” that was typical of the time (113). Reading level: intermediate.  Essay title: “Brothers under the Skin: Achebe on Heart of Darkness” by Bruce Fleming, 1993. MK’s notes: In this essay, Fleming agrees that “Achebe’s charges of racism are…well founded” but goes on to propose that “countless novelists,” including Achebe himself, essentialize (or reduce to a “monolithic, undifferentiated whole”) the settings of their novels. Reading level: intermediate.  Essay title: “Conrad's Critique of Imperialism in Heart of Darkness” by Hunt Hawkins, 1979. MK’s notes: In this essay, Hawkins first summarizes the ways in which critics have read Heart of Darkness as a critique of imperialism and then proceeds to present his own argument, which is that the novel does not critique European imperialism in general, but the imperialism practiced by Leopold II in the Congo. Reading level: intermediate. -------------------------------------------------- You may also benefit from reading this overview of the novel, though you cannot use it as one of the essays you refer to in your thesis. You can, however, include information from this essay elsewhere in your paper.  Essay title: “Overview of Heart of Darkness” by Joyce Moss and George Wilson, 1997. MK’s notes: This overview provides context for the novel, including biographical information about Conrad, King Leopold II, the colonization of the Congo, and the prevailing attitudes of the time. Reading level: basic/intermediate.