Kerry's Reviews > Tintin In The Congo

Tintin In The Congo by Hergé
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's review
Oct 14, 2011

it was ok
Read from October 14 to 15, 2011

Wow, no wonder this one is usually left out of Herge's canon of works. Granted this was written towards the end of colonialism (1930s), it is still pretty embarrassing. The portrayal of people from the Congo is only a very tiny step away from drawing them as apes. However, mostly Tintin spends most of his visit to the Congo shooting any animal that moves (and even dynamiting a rhino). Fortunately, the world has come some way from then and all of this stuff looks as shocking as it actually is. In terms of plot and drawing, pretty average.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Edward (new) - added it

Edward Waverley "The portrayal of people from the Congo is only a very tiny step away from drawing them as apes. " So you admit that Darwinism is a spurious and insulting myth?

Kerry @1, I don't understand your comment and what it has to do with my review or even the book. Is this some sort of fundamentalist anti-evolution anti-science rant? You won't find much sympathy from me there.

Certainly this book reflects the dominant cultural biases of the time it was written. I wouldn't want to see Huckleberry Finn edited to excise its more uncomfortable cultural biases of its time. However, Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful piece of literature that stands up despite those things. Tintin in the Congo, however, is pretty slight and kind of embarrassing to read.

message 3: by Edward (new) - added it

Edward Waverley In that case, I will attempt to spell out my objection a little more plainly. Here is the question: is comparing blacks to apes insulting, or is it accurate? It cannot be both insulting AND accurate. According to you, Darwin's claim that humans are descended from apes is airtight. On the other hand, you are indignant about Herge's depiction of blacks as resembling apes. Your assignment is to decide which of these conflicting values you prefer, for you cannot hold both of them and keep a straight face. It is either evil to imply that blacks are related to apes (which is what you expressed in your review) or else it is wise and enlightened to accept that black are related to apes (which is what you expressed in the above comment).

Kerry This is a stupid conversation. You were the one who said Darwin claimed humans descended from apes. However, the preponderance of scientific evidence is that both human and apes have descended from amphibians on different evolutionary branches. Besides, both blacks and whites are evolved not from apes but are related to apes (unless you want to pretend that whites somehow just magically appeared outside of evolutionary processes). Besides, Herge's implication would be that blacks are less evolved than whites.

Shall we argue about whether the Earth revolves around the Sun next or do you want to move on and rant to somebody else about evolution. I've gotta tell you, I quite happy being a US expat. I really don't miss the insane fundamentalism (I have to assume from your fixation on Darwin from a minor point in a review of a comic book) that is so common there.

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