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In this paper, you will respond to another critic’s reading of Conrad, by develo

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In this paper, you will respond to another critic’s reading of Conrad, by developing an argument
that position yourself in relation to another’s thesis. You will develop a reading of a few scenes
of your choice from Heart of Darkness to make your response to Brantlinger’s “Heart of
Darkness: Anti-Imperialism, Racism, or Impressionism?” or Johanna Smith’s “Too Beautiful
Altogether”. Therefore, you must quote and analyze both Heart of Darkness and the critic’s
reading of the novel.
First, you will develop your own argument about the text, through either a gender/feminist lens
or a post-colonial theoretical lens, to develop and argue a thesis. Remember that you are reading
Heart of Darkness according to a specific theoretical school—gender and feminist criticism OR
post-colonial theory—so you need to employ the discursive terminology of that school in your
analysis. So, make use of the notes for either “What is Feminist and Gender Criticism?” or
“What is Post-Colonial Criticism” and re-read the chapter, before writing this paper.
Second, you will position yourself relative to either Smith’s or Brantlinger’s reading of the text.
You will develop a “yes/no/ok, but” response to the critic. You may either weave your response
to the critic throughout your analysis of the novel, or you may develop your argument about the
novel and towards the end of your paper you can write a section responding to the critic’s ideas.
You will write 3 full pages in Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1-inch margins. The final
version of your paper is due by Saturday December 5th via email (by 10pm).
A sample intro, with a possible argument that takes into account of a critic’s work, might look
something like this:
The fin-de-siècle posed challenges to the relative acceptance of colonialism as a de facto state of life. As
abolition had challenged slavery just half a century prior, so new reports of brutal treatment of the
Indigenous in African colonies also equally challenged the firm belief in colonial rule as a “good thing.”
The Belgians’ colonial activities along the Congo River proved especially gruesome and heinous, which
became the fictional focus for Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Patrick Brantlinger, responding to
China Achebe’s accusation that the novel was racist, counter-argues that Conrad’s novel challenges
racism and imperialism, but presents its challenge in both racist and imperialist modes of critique.
However, Brantlinger’s devotion to Conrad’s novel as a “Great Work of Art” blinds his critique of the
novel, for it is inherently racist and never seems to escape a racist view of the Indigenous. To prove this, I
will juxtapose the language of civilization and darkness, the way that Kurtz is portrayed as “going
native,” and the racist imagery employed to portray African indigenous peoples in Conrad’s racist novel.

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