Colonialism and Imperialism - European Invasion Depicted in Heart of Darkness

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 573 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The European Invasion in Heart of Darkness

 
  The viewpoint of the European invasion of Africa, as seen through the eyes of Marlow in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, takes a dramatic turn. At first, Marlow sees through the European viewpoint, where the invasion is a heroic attempt to tame a mysterious culture, while reaping the rewards of the ivory trade. The descriptions of the natives are inhuman, monstrous and fearful. The shift in perception occurs as Marlow begins to see through the eyes of the natives. The result is compassion for an ancient civilization that is very much human in there fear of being conquered.

Part of Marlow's European viewpoint stems from people he respects. From his " excellent aunt's" Christian viewpoint, there is a duty in " weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways"(Longman, P.2199). Marlow becomes influenced by the members in the partnership mostly concerned with obtaining ivory " I also was a part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings"(2202). The European viewed conquering the ignorant and using their ivory for wealth as heroic. The description of he manger's office walls contained "a collection of spears, assegais, shields, knives was hung up as trophies"(2208). In addition, the mission of Kurtz becomes " a very important one, in the true ivory-country, the very bottom there" (2204). Here the European viewpoint of invading Africa is heroic verses horrific.

Through the description of hoe Marlow first view the natives; there is an expression of fear felt toward the uncivilized race not viewed as human. After the death of Marlow's African helmsman, Marlow question his sorrow for the loss for a " savage who was no more than a grain of sand in a black Sahara"(2227). In addition, when approaching Kurtz, Marlow's fearful description of an approaching native is " Some sorcerer, some witch-man, no doubt! It looked fiend-like enough" (2237). The fear of the unfamiliar culture unfolds with " mysterious niggers armed with all kinds of fearful weapons"(2204). In this viewpoint, fear is the European excuse for the invasion.

The shift in Marlow's perception towards the natives develops as compassion for the fear Europeans have inflicted occurs. Marlow sees though the eyes of the natives with " The glimpse of the steamboat had for some reason filled those savages with unrestrained grief" (2221). Unfolding is the discovery that the savages are human after all.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Colonialism and Imperialism - European Invasion Depicted in Heart of Darkness." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=8907>.
Title Length Color Rating  
European Colonialism: Civilizations Ruined Essay - European Colonialism has been around since the late 15th century and their model for colonialism will exist for many years to come. Colonization could be considered to start as far back as the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. However, this colonization model was not near as deadly as the European model (Louis). The ancient civilizations educated, advanced, and motivated their colonies to succeed. The European model falls far short of the standard set in past years. This model for colonialism starts in the late 1400s when Britain began its reign over Ireland and Portugal with Spain began its conquest of the Americas....   [tags: European History]
:: 12 Works Cited
1481 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
African Responses to Colonialism: A Study of the Peaceful and Violent Dichotomy - A. Adu Boahen's African Perspectives on Colonialism neatly classifies African responses to European colonialism during both phases of invasion and occupation during the 19th century with precise labels according to their nature or time period. However, the reactions can also be loosely grouped into two diametric characterizations: peaceful and violent. Although creating this dichotomy seems a gross generalization and oversimplification of the colonial African experience, it more importantly allows for a different perspective- one that exposes the overwhelming success of the typically peaceful or pacifist reaction in contrast to the little gain and large losses of the violent response....   [tags: Colonialism]
:: 1 Works Cited
2088 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on The Effect of Colonialism On The World - Sometime I think about the problems and effects that colonialism have caused in the whole world. Is it good or bad. “Colonialism has always had a bad reputation” (1). I suppose in essence, for the people being colonized, it cannot be a good thing. The world wide scramble for colonies, particularly in the late 19 early 20th centaury, had a tremendous negative effects on the economic, social, and political structures of indigenous, non-industrialized people. The idea of colonialism is to take resources from one country to use for the benefit of the colonizing country....   [tags: Colonialism] 1363 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
European Colonialism in Rwanda Essay - ... Even though these political ethnic groups subsisted afore the colonial period, the racist dogma of the Europeans flooded their borders, had extensive ramifications, and finally proliferated a sense of a superior race. Decisively, one of the principal factors that allotted the tribes was when the Belgians delegated “identity cards”; these solidified the divisions by European colonial policies, and were internalized in the minds of the Rwandans themselves. This course of categorization produced profound effects that echoed in the future history of the country; for during the Rwandan genocide 78 years following, these identification cards told Hutu extremists ultimately who to kill and who...   [tags: tutsi, hutu] 1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Colonialism in India Essay - The British invasion formed into a historical development of British colonialism in India. Despite India under the British rule, Mahatma Gandhi played an important role in gaining Independence. He not only changed India but also strongly fought for India's independence, using various strategies. The British Empire ruled as long as they could to reform India both politically and socially. India was the first major Asian civilizations to fall victim to European predatory activities (Duiker 31). With conquering India, the British had various purposes behind it....   [tags: British Invasion, Massive Boycotts ] 997 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
How did European Colonialism affect Kenya? Essay - “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” Great Britain often bragged. By 1914, about 85% of the earth’s surface was colonized by Europe. Between 1884 and 1885, The Berlin Conference took place to carve up the African continent (Background Essay). Europeans saw high potential in Africa and thought the continent was empty, even though it was not. It was roughly “untouched” and they thought they could do anything they wanted (Doc.1). Great Britain’s colonization in Kenya affected the country’s religion and culture, education, and government....   [tags: History, European Colonization] 836 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Were the African People Partially Responsible for Colonialism? Essay examples - “The condition of the native is a nervous condition introduced and maintained by the settler among the colonized people with their consent.” Frantz Fanon, 1961, The Wretched of the Earth Fanon’s quote, repeated on the first page of Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, seems to state that Fanon held the colonized people of Africa partly responsible for the colonial system of governing and, by extension, the oppression of the African people. Fanon notes the silence of Africa in the face of colonialism and her inability or lack of will to act against the colonial governments....   [tags: Colonialism]
:: 3 Works Cited
1175 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The European Invasion of the Aztec Civilization - The European Invasion of the Aztec Civilization Thunder on their Ships They are landing with rulers, squares, compasses Sextants White skin fair eyes, naked word Thunder on their ships. Leopold Sedar Senghor, “Ethiopiques” (Adas) “Thunder on their ships” can be used to describe Herman Cortes when he landed at what is now Veracruz, Mexico in 1519 A.D. The light skinned and bearded Spaniard led his men into territory occupied by the Aztec civilization. Little did Cortes know, but that happened to be the same year in the Aztec culture when a white and bearded deity was expected to arrive....   [tags: American America History]
:: 5 Works Cited
1277 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Colonialism - The way society is structured today, it is difficult to understand Colonialism for what it truly was. For example, A Stranger walks into a house and claims it is his, while he enslaves the real owners and demands they follow his rules. It might seem like an unlikely scenario, but about 400 years ago, this was reality. European countries such as Spain and England wanted to expand their territories and become the world powers. Explorers like Christopher Columbus, soon started declaring regions that they discovered in the name of their countries....   [tags: European History] 1563 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Colonialism Essay - Colonialism It is almost a given now that most everyone considers colonialism as a mistake. They thought that the spreading of ideas, culture, and religion would have a positive effect on the native cultures they colonized. In fact though, these changes had an adverse effect on the peoples of these countries. For although many laud the efforts of these countries to spread Christianity, some question the motives of these countries in dealing the everyday needs of these people. In seeing the natives as inferior the mother countries were able to justify their treatment of them....   [tags: Papers] 741 words
(2.1 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




The source of the Africans grief is defined as the natives watch the boat " thumping, fierce river demon beating the water with its terrible tail and breathing black smoke into the air" (2238). In this viewpoint, the natives see the steamboat as monstrous, as it represents the invasion of there culture. Furthermore, Marlow recognizes the Africans view the Europeans as " supernatural beings" (2226). The transformation of viewpoints translates Marlow's compassion as the mutual fear of the unknown is shared in both races.

Many Europeans thought the invasion of Africa was heroic in controlling the uncivilized and obtaining wealth from the ivory trade. The Africans were viewed as monsters, not an ancient race to be respected for there own customs. In the end, Marlow comes to the realization who the real monsters are, This is evident as Marlow recognizes " It is strange how I accepted the partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms" (2239).

Work Cited

Longman. The Longman Anthology of British Literature, vol. B. Damrosch, D. NY, LA: Addison Wesley Longman.


Return to 123HelpMe.com