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Catholic and Christians Missionaries in Africa

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Marlow, the main character in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, is fascinated by unknown areas of the world and also enjoys the feeling of being afloat on water. To quench this curiosity of the mysterious, he ventures into the wilderness to face the adventures that lay inside the “heart of darkness”, Africa. Unbeknownst by him at first, Marlow is viewed as a missionary: the man that will bring light to the “dark” continent (Heart 3). In The Heart of Darkness, Marlow’s aunt refers to him as an “emissary of light, something like a lower sort of apostle”. It is obvious that Marlow is regarded as a missionary, although in his mind, he is simply going to Africa to complete a job.

However, there were 1.6 million Evangelical Christians (people committed to converting people to Christianity) in Africa at the time that Joseph Conrad was writing Heart of Darkness (Vermeulen 2). The first of these missionaries were Portuguese Catholics that were accompanying seafaring explorers. They first arrived in Sub-Sahara Africa in the 1400s and immediately saw their toil come to fruition when “Kingdo...

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