Document Type


Date of Award



School of Communication (SOC)

Degree Name

MA in English

First Advisor

Professor D. Michael Sollars


To some critics, Things FallApart by Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958, comes to be the antithesis of Heart ofDarkness by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1899. In fact, this thesis will highlight Achebe's enthusiasm and nationalism that lead him to create a vivid picture of the African individual who is presented as belonging to a rich heritage of unique and complex African tradition. Achebe's characterization and representation of Africans in his novel is thought to be an ardent response to Conrad's assumed or perceived "racism." Yet, this thesis will discuss this dispute by giving new evidence to support Conrad's stance as non-racist. In addition to that, the study will argue that Heart ofDarkness and Things FallApart are complementary to each other in their envision of "the self' and "the other." Thus, a thorough psychological approach is applied in this thesis to elucidate Conrad's ends in revealing the internal strife of his 1 2 characters through his ingenious usage of symbols, images, and figurative language. In Achebe's case, the author's biographic circumstances are searched to facilitate a more thorough understanding of the psychology of his characters. Finally, the historical and post-colonial interpretations in this thesis unfold and unmask the reality of colonization and the destructive and dramatic change Europeans impose on colonized people, as is evident in the novels. This unmasking, thus, asserts the distinctiveness and uniqueness of the African tradition that have been endangered by the methods and convictions assumed by Europeans