Shuttling between Personal and Thematic

Said’s method of argument seeks to establish a dialogue between the personal and thematic levels, which he accomplishes by making small concedes between the two levels until finally arriving at the moment of contact. For example, he initiates his conversation about Heart of Darkness with the broad statement that “domination and inequities of power and wealth are perennial facts of human society.” He then guides the argument using a theoretical argument that if “you tell Arabs or Africans that they belong to a basically sick or unregenerate culture, you are unlikely to convince them” and marks the point of convergence by stating “the history of this stand-off is manifest throughout colonies where white masters were once unchallenged but finally driven out” (19). Personally, I find this method appropriate for a critique of Heart of Darkness because it effectively replicates the narrative tendency Conrad employs to shuttle between an intimate account of racism and the greater theological implications his novel seeks to illuminate.