Essay On Civilization And Savagery In Heart Of Darkness

816 Words4 Pages
Mark Humble
Mr. Kaneft
Honors British Literature
6 April 2014
The Shallowness of Civilization
Are we so used to our own customs that we consider other countries ways of living and culture too far different, and in some cases uncivilized? Sure, some countries have it harder and do things more dissimilarly then us, but even some of those countries can be considered civilized. Take a country in Africa for example. The first thing that comes to many minds is that it is a “place of darkness” (Heart of Darkness 5) and that they are far uncivilized from the living and ways of other more diverse cultures. These people consider them savage because they are so blinded by how civilized and advanced the place is where they live, and are to ignorant to be open minded about the home of someone else. Kurtz, one of the main characters in Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, is the prime example of the overpowering nature of ignorance and the inability to survive in another setting for a prolonged amount of time without going insane.
Heart of Darkness is a novel that renders many different themes that often can be argued, or present a contradicting idea. For my topic, I have chosen the argument between Civilization and Savagery, and I am going to reveal the true meaning behind what each word means in the context of the book. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad reveals that in reality the Europeans are truly more savage than the more civilized Africans, showing that all is not what meets the eye. In the novel, there is a distinct disagreement among readers weather or not the native Africans are in reality more savage than the Europeans who are intruding in their land.
The meaning of civilization is useless without first thinking about wha...

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Works Cited
Achebe, Chinua. “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”
Massachusetts Review 18 (1977): 251-61. Print.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Dover, 1990. Print.
Miller, J Hillis. “Should We Read Heart of Darkness” Bloom’s Modern Critical
Interpretations: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Ed. Harold Bloom New
York: Blooms Literary Criticism, 2008. 115-29. Print.
Paris, Bernard. “Journey to the Inner Station.” Bloom’s Modern Critical
Interpretations: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Ed. Harold Bloom New
York: Blooms Literary Criticism, 2008. 5-17. Print.
Watts, Cedric. “Heart of Darkness” Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: Joseph
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Ed. Harold Bloom New York: Blooms Literary Criticism, 2008. 19-36. Print.
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