Instead they colonized on the native's land and corrupted the natives. The Europeans implement their own beliefs upon the weaker natives, like the way that Cortez and the Spa... ... middle of paper ... ...s spiritually reborn. The story itself uses Kurtz as the dark right side in which Marlow searches for entering into the darkness of his own persona. The journey that Marlow goes through within himself is one that is very complex. This whole story consists of a large paradox, the darkness can be represented as Kurtz yet Kurtz can be perceived as a dark inner side of Marlow’s character, while the Congo can represent pure evil, and the Congo could also represent the test in which Marlow goes through to emerge as the changed man the reader sees at the end of the story.
King Leopold II of Belgium is known for being one of the most brutal racists in history. His inhumane treatment of Africans in the Congo was revealed in photographs that surfaced and that were taken to emphasize his cruel behavior over the Africans in the Congo. His motive for this inhumanity was pure greed. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, although does not embody the vicious behavior of King Leopold II, contributes to the racism of that period in other ways. Because of this, the novel can be interpreted in different ways from a racism standpoint.
Joseph Conrad’s novella explores the concept of imperialism and makes reference to the exploration and colonization of Africa. The text itself, which is narrated in a third-person perspective (to subdue the demeaning nature), is bluntly degrading and disparaging toward the natives of Africa. The native African people are blatantly ostracized in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with the author’s use of derogatory and condemning language throughout the text, the juxtaposition and hesitant comparison of the whites and the natives, and the idea presented of the European men being the saviors of Africa. Rather than display those of Africa as beings, Conrad uses belittling language to not only present the native people as beasts, but to also establish the theme of savagery in the novella. When describing the natives, Joseph Conrad has no hesitation to condemn the people.
Critical Review of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness The understanding of evil and its genesis could not be achieved without submerging into the reality of iniquity. In Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", Marlow went through an unsurpassable physiological burden of the Congo River to understand the mystic and the brilliance of Kurtz's dark and destructive mind and soul; the resemblance of true evil. This novel portrays the tragic outcome of the severe European dominion over the helpless African population and the destruction of fundamental human conventions and beliefs. The ignorance and misunderstanding with which the colonists were driven to imaginary wealth and authority nourished the hidden potential of evil that lies within each person and brought a great wave of disaster to the Congo River. The novel places us into the epicenter of mysterious Congo Jungle, full of darkness, savagery, greed and death.
Conrad depicts his ideas about Africa in this way as well as through the character of Marlow. As author Gary Adelman comments on this in his book Heart of Darkness Search for the Unconscious "Africans, in their free state, as described by Marlow, epitomizes not only the primitive condition of humankind, but also an actively demoralizing influence, which a white man coming to Africa must challenge." (p. 69) In many description located in the novel Conrad depicts Africa and it’s people as being dark and of inhuman nature. "It was unearthly, and the men were -No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it -this suspicion of t... ... middle of paper ... ... Darkness is that he meant the darkness and wickedness that he saw and associated with European colonialism and imperialistic rule of Africa.
But if it were to visit its primordial relative, the Congo, it would run the terrible risk of hearing grotesque echoes of its own forgotten darkness, and falling victim to an avenging recrudescence of the mindless frenzy of the first beginnings. (4) One might contend that this attitude toward the African in Heart of Darkness does not belong to Conrad, but rather to Marlow, and that far from endorsing it "Conrad might indeed be holding it up to irony and criticism." (9) According to Achebe "Conrad appears to go to considerable pains to set up layers of insulation between himself and the moral universe of his story." (9) For example, Conrad has a narrator behind a narrator -- he gives us Marlow's account through the filter of a second person. Achebe thus elucidates how "Conrad seems.
Heart of Darkness: Revelations of Man's Dark Self In Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness the Europeans are cut off from civilization, overtaken by greed, exploitation, and material interests from his own kind. Conrad develops themes of personal power, individual responsibility, and social justice. His book has all the trappings of the conventional adventure tale - mystery, exotic setting, escape, suspense, unexpected attack. The book is a record of things seen and done by Conrad while in the Belgian Congo. Conrad uses Marlow, the main character in the book, as a narrator so he himself can enter the story and tell it out of his own philosophical mind.
In his essay, Achebe states that “Heart of Darkness projects the likeness of Africa as “the other world”, the antithesis of Europe and thus of civilization, a place where a man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality”(Achebe 783). Readers are hit by the insensitivity and savage way in which European colonists advanced the tribal heritage they searched to “civilize". Chinua Achebe cites numerous points in the text where this concept is shown. Achebe also argues that the river Thames is mismatched to the river Congo, its “very antithesis” (3), where the activity in the innovative is centralized. Achebe argues that what is concerned about Conrad is not the definiteness, but the lurking hint of kinship, of widespread ancestry.
Joseph Conrad's experiences commanding a steamboat down the Belgian Congo showed him man's capacity for evil and Conrad used his experiences as an outline for Heart of Darkness. The result is that both novels explore the central themes of civilization versus savagery, man's inhumanity to man, man's capacity for evil, and the desire for power. Both Conrad and Golding believed in the idea that all human beings have a dark side that is kept in touch by civilization and their novels showed what would happen if a man was isolated from civilization long, enough to begin ignoring the morals that society had enforced upon him. His civilized instincts would begin to compete with his savage instincts to form the conflict between civilization and savagery, which is a ma... ... middle of paper ... ... Jack and Kurtz do gain the power that they desire and they are both almost worshiped like gods. Jack is described on page 149 as "painted and garlanded, sitting there like an idol.
In reality, Leopold was only using the Congo for his own advantage. Slave and forced labor, bru... ... middle of paper ... ...tion vs. primitive” as well as in the depiction of the Congolese people. Furthermore, the political impact is shown in the narrative and the character of Mr. Kurtz, and the social significance of the time is highlighted by the theme of racism and the portrayal of two prominent European characters in the text. The incorporation of these historical circumstances in Heart of Darkness indicates how much of an effect the outside world can have on a text. It also illustrates the importance of knowing what some of those circumstances are before making assumptions or conclusions about the text and its meaning.