King Leopolds Ghost King Leopold's Ghost tells a story of the Belgian King Leopold II and his misrule of an African colony, named (at the time) the Congo Free State. It is a wild and unpleasant story of a man's capacity for evil and the peculiar manifestation of it. In telling this story, Hochschild does a wonderful job of giving detailed descriptions, especially of the colorful individuals involved, both good and bad. His analysis of the situation is very solid, starting with the movement when the Congolese hero (Morel) finds out a very terrible fact and moving on through his (Morel) analysis and actions, all the while telling the story of a treacherous monster. Set in the palaces and boardrooms of Europe and in the villages of central Africa, it tells the story of the tragedy that took place during Leopold's so called rule, a tragedy that is so familiar to African-Americans, being told of our African brothers residing in the homeland.
Even Marlow admits, "I was getting savage." As Marlow ventures farther up the Congo, he feels like he is traveling back in time, the deeper into the heart he goes the more regressed the inhabitants seem. Kurtz once was considered an honorable man, but living in the Congo separated from his own culture he changed greatly. In the jungle he discovers his evil side, secluded from the rest of his own society he becomes corrupted by power. "My Ivory.
Characterized by anger or spite; malicious. The definition of evil, a term used very cautiously in modern society, is very diverse among different people. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the term evil is articulated through several ways mainly four characters: the cruelty within the people of the Belgian Congo, main mystery of Kurtz, the setting upon which the characters reside, and the atmosphere in which the Belgian Congo produces from the elements prior stated. The smarter Europeans used their intelligence and arms strength to cruelly overcome the weaker natives. The concept of evil is personified in the story through different things mainly through a man named Kurtz.
Massacring huge numbers of natives will eventually frighten the survivors into gathering rubber. This shows the intentions of forced labor by the Force Publique and the reason for the population drop in Congo during Leopold’s rule. Works Cited Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold's Ghost. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
Kurtz murders and pillages for ivory, long after he gets sick. It becomes a desperate race for him, trying to collect all of the ivory in Africa; even after he succumbs to the sickness that Africa provides. All of the characters in the book become sick because of the effects of imperia... ... middle of paper ... ... make it harder for them to move through the wilderness. This comes from the fact that Africa mostly just wants the agents to leave. Marlow also recognizes that the forest is impenetrable (Conrad 40).
So therefore you can tell that imperialism is just as bad as the disease that many people get from the Congo, they become infected. Which truly begs the question, is it just the Congo that turns us ill, or is there a sense of darkness inside of us lurking around waiting to come out. At the beginning of the novel, Marlow is traveling the jungle and the many scenes of life can be seen. Africa has seems to be taken over by many travelers which makes one wonder what is there ulterior motive? Africa is a third world country, which makes it easy for someone to come in and talk on their soapbox.
Kurtz is, for the most part, alone in the wilderness, however, he is not alone in his wickedness. Kurtz's inner evil spreads outward into Africa making it the dark place that it becomes during the novel. The local people have become corrupt due to Kurtz's position of power and co... ... middle of paper ... ...den, Wilfred S. "I Start with Definite Images." Joseph Conrad: The Imagined Style . Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1970.
Kurtz had been seen as a God by one tribe and had begun raiding surrounding villages for ivory and participated in brutal and savage practices. Marlow gets Kurtz to the boat and attempts to bring him back to civilization, but Kurtz was too sick and died leaving Marlow with his affairs and documents. Conrad did acknowledge that “Heart of Darkness” is in part based off of his own experiences as a captain of a steamer on the Congo River in the 1890’s, where he witnessed horrible treatment of African natives and the imperialism thrust upon the people by European companies there. The book is a bit ambiguous, but its themes are clear and the contrast of two very differ... ... middle of paper ... ...er than learn they assumed everything was wrong with their culture and societies then they commenced to pillage and slaughter. Conclusion It was a great thing to be able to read “Heart of Darkness” again (since I was much more eager than when I read it in High School).
After being consumed by the heart of darkness, Marlow throws away his previous values as he reverts into a savaged, almost evil state of mind. Though honest, Marlow is a prejudiced man; he is the epitome of colonialism. Going into the Congo, Marlow views the natives as prehistoric evils in desperate need of white influence and civilization. Throughout the physical journey, Marlow is confronted with the natives time and time again, seeing them chained as slaves, living in a village and attacking his own steam boat.
He is used as a tool, so to speak, for Conrad to enter the story and tell it out of his own philosophical mind. He longs to see Kurtz, in hope of appreciating all that Kurtz finds endearing in the African jungle. Marlow does not get the opportunity to see Kurtz until he is so disease-stricken that he looks more like death than a person. There are no good looks or health. ***WHERE?