Preview
Preview

Essay on The Darkness of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1243 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Light and Dark of Colonialism in Heart of Darkness

 
    In the opening of his novel, Heart of Darkness, Conrad, through Marlow, establishes his thoughts on colonialism. He says that conquerors only use brute force, "nothing to boast of" because it arises, by accident, from another's weakness. Marlow compares his subsequent tale of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe and the fascination associated with such an endeavor. However, Marlow challenges this viewpoint by painting a heinous picture of the horrors of colonialist ventures as we delve deeper into the recesses of the novel. Here we find that Marlow sees colonization as "robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as it is very proper for those who tackle darkness." Further, he sees such conquests as taking land and materials away from those people who "have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses." As he understands it, colonization is only successful if there lays within it a "devotion to efficiency" and a creation of civilization, not exploitation (Conrad, 4). In the novel, as seen through the eyes of his narrator Marlow, Conrad offers a frank critique of European imperial colonialism be alluding to the poignant differences between black and white and dark and light.

Through the usage of individual characters, Conrad illustrates the differences between dark and light and black and white created by colonialism. Marlow and Kurtz can be as two halves of one soul. Throughout the tale, Marlow is disgusted with what he sees during his employment with the ivory company. He is shocked and angered at the horrible treatment of the black workers. By the end of his tale, Marlow has turned f...


... middle of paper ...


...t be realized that even worse atrocities occurred during the era of colonialism. In his chapter on post-colonialism, Nealon says that such reprehensible colonialism that occurred in Conrad's Heart of Darkness "ended only relatively recently (and only, one might argue, when there was no 'new' territory to be colonized (56)."

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Bradley, Candice (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Lawrence Univ.).   "Africa and Africans in Conrad's Heart of Darkness."  A Lawrence University Freshman Studies Lecture, 24 Jan. 1996.  Available:  http://www.freespeech.org/james/conrad/heart.htm (Accessed: Apr. 2001)

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness, New York: Dover, 1990.

Dintenfass, Mark. "Heart of Darkness: A Lawrence University Freshman Studies Lecture." 14 Mar. 1996. *http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~csicseri/dintenfass.htm* (2 Feb. 2000).


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness Essay - Imperialism Exposed in Conrad's Heart of Darkness         Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is, as Edward Said says, a story about European "acts of imperial mastery" (1503)-its methods, and the effects it has on human nature-and it is presumable that Conrad incorporates much of his own experience in the Congo and his opinions about imperialism into the story, as another recent critic also suggests: "he seems to approve of Marlow," the narrator (Achebe 1492). These revelations of the author are conveyed to the reader through Marlow's observations, descriptions, reactions, and statements....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1042 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Glorified Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness - Imperialism Glorified in Heart of Darkness      Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is, as Edward Said states a story about European "acts of imperial mastery" (1503)-its methods, and the effects it has on human nature. Furthermore I hold the presumption that Conrad incorporates much of his own experience in the Congo and his opinions about imperialism. Another recent critic also suggests: "he seems to approve of Marlow," the narrator (Achebe 1492). These revelations of the author are conveyed to the reader through Marlow's observations, descriptions, reactions, and statements....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1213 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Condemnation of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness - Condemnation of Imperialism in Heart of Darkness      Though Conrad did not learn English until he was twenty-one, he still mastered the language and artfully uses it in Heart of Darkness. One sentence of his is particularly striking, as it sums up the views that he condemns throughout the novella. The accountant, one of the first imperialists Marlow meets, says to him, "When one has got to make correct entries, one comes to hate these savages-hate them to the death"(Conrad). This sentence is a perfect example of the typical imperialistic belief that Marlow denounces, and serves as a synecdoche for the entire work....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
555 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay Theme of Colonialism and Imperialism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness - The Theme of Imperialism in Heart of Darkness     Of the themes in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, imperialism and colonialism are probably the most important. While Heart of Darkness is actually set on the Thames River, the events Marlow describes are set on the Congo River. "The Congo is the river that brought about the partition of Africa that occurred from 1880 to 1890" (McLynn 13). This event marked the beginning of the colonization of Africa. In 1884, European nations held a conference and decided that every European country should have free access to the interior of Africa....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1021 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Evil of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - Exploring the Evil of Colonialism in Heart of Darkness     A masterpiece of twentieth-century writing, Heart of Darkness exposes the tenuous fabric that holds "civilization" together and the brutal horror at the center of European colonialism. Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness, describes a life-altering journey that the protagonist, Marlow, experiences in the African Congo.  The story explores the historical period of colonialism in Africa to exemplify Marlow's struggles. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is most often read as an attack upon colonialism.  Marlow, like other Europeans of his time, is brought up to believe certain things about colonialism, but his views change as h...   [tags: Heart of Darkness ]
:: 4 Works Cited
1544 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Colonialism and Imperialism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay - Imperialism Exposed in Conrad's Heart of Darkness      Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is a novel about European imperialism and its far-reaching effects. Conrad relates his personal opinions through the protagonist, Marlow, who learns a great deal about imperialism while on a journey to the African Congo. Although 'Heart of Darkness' seems to be an anti-imperialistic work, this is not entirely true. Conrad condemns the overly idealistic nature of imperialism, but does not attack Britain's competent employment of it....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays papers Conrad]
:: 6 Works Cited
1005 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Colonialism and Imperialism - Heart of Darkness and Post-Colonial Theory - Post-Colonial Theory and Heart of Darkness "Heart of Darkness" begins and ends in London; on the Nellie on the Thames. The most part, however, takes place in the Congo (now known as the Republic of the Congo). The Kongo, as it was originally known, was inhabited first by pygmy tribes and migratory 'Bantus' and was 'discovered' by the Portuguese in the 14th Century. The Portuguese brought with them Catholocism; European missionaries. The Congo was ruled by King Alfonso I from 1506 - 1540 and Shamba Bolongongo from 1600 - 1620....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays] 830 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Light and Dark of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness - The Light and Dark of Colonialism Exposed in Heart of Darkness     In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, challenges a dominant view by exposing the evil nature and the darkness associated with the colonialist ventures. It is expressed by Marlow as "robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as it is very proper for those who tackle a darkness." The European colonialists are portrayed as blind lightbearers, people having a façade of progress and culture, yet are blind of their actions....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1534 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Degeneration of Kurtz, Colonialism, and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness - Degeneration of Kurtz and Colonialism in Heart of Darkness     Kurtz was a personal embodiment, a dramatization, of all that Conrad felt of futility, degradation, and horror in what the Europeans in the Congo called 'progress,' which meant the exploitation of the natives by every variety of cruelty and treachery known to greedy man. Kurtz was to Marlow, penetrating this country, a name, constantly recurring in people's talk, for cleverness and enterprise. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a portrait of the degeneration of the ideal of Kurtz symbolizing the degeneration of the ideal of colonialism as 'civilizing work'....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1034 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Horrors of Colonialism and Imperialism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness -         From the onset of the novella Heart of Darkness, the narrator Marlow compares his subsequent tale of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe and the fascination associated with such an endeavor. However, throughout his narration, Marlow challenges this viewpoint by painting a heinous picture of the horrors of colonialist ventures. In the opening of his tale, Conrad, through Marlow, establishes his thoughts on colonialism. He says that conquerors only use brute force, "nothing to boast of" because it arises, by accident, from another's weakness....   [tags: Essays on Heart of Darkness]
:: 6 Works Cited
1854 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]