Tropes in African Literature

In this assignment, we were asked to look at three different texts:  Olaudah Equiano, Heart of Darkness, and “Heritage” , and describe how several different tropes, or symbols, operate in each.  Tropes are symbols that cause the text to turn or revolve.  Here is my presentation of tropes within these texts:

Tropes Within African Diaspora Texts


Additional links:

This essay puts a background on Diaspora literature and touches on some of the symbolism within:

An intellectual description and discussion on Conrad’s Congo River:

A brief but expandable dictionary of symbolism:

This page has links to tons of writers and literature:



I wish that I had incorporated more visuals on this assignment.  I really like how the assignment flows like a river or path would through the jungle.  The content of this assignment was more difficult for me, not because there is not tons of information on the web about each of these texts and the symbolism incorporated into each one, but I really did try to see for myself how each of these terms worked within the texts.  Much of the time, it was deeper than I was able to realize.  Even after reading the descriptions of other people, my mind still tries to skim along the surface, seeing the story merely as a story.  Abstract analysis is apparently difficult for me, I am from Missouri after all- the SHOW ME state.  I like to see things or have concrete facts.  Perhaps learning to think in the abstract as this class is helping me do will help me in Algebra!


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