Perhaps the Heart of Darkness refers to the colonialism and imperialism that the Europeans were practicing at the turn of the 20th century. In the setting that Joseph Conrad gives the characters in the Heart of Darkness, Africa was still greatly unexplored by Europeans. It was thought by many Europeans to be a dark place of savages and strange beasts. As the author Gary Adelman writes in his book Heart of Darkness Search for the Unconscious, "As the journey proceeds from the Coastal Station to Kurtz’s outpost, darkness increasingly becomes associated with savagery, cannibalism, and human sacrifice, with Africans as the embodiment of these ideas" (p.87). Conrad depicts his ideas about Africa in this way as well as through the character of Marlow.
According to Lois Tyson, the colonizers think that they set up examples for the colonial people, so the colonised people “were considered ‘other’, different, and therefore inferior to the point of being less than fully human” In other words, the colonizers ... ... middle of paper ... ...me greedy. As Gene M. Moor has stated, Conrad hated imperialism in central Africa of its savageness, selfishness and devastation. Kurtz’s final words, ‘the horror’, ‘the horror’, are about how a civilized man can change to savagery when there is no restriction” Therefore, Kurtz can be considered as corruption brought to Africa from Europe. The death of Kurtz can be regarded as subversion of colonialism as it destroys both the colonizers and the colonised people. Heart of Darkness reflects the realities of world in the 19th century, that is Africans suffered and died because of European brutality during slave trading and colonialism.
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.
Who could possibly have that heart? Joseph Conrad, for example, was a man with a heart of darkness. His life reeked with self deception and inner conflicts. Conrad’s book, Heart of Darkness is based upon imperialism and racism. Racism is cleverly hidden within the text, but imperialism is innocently depicted as the civilization of the Congolese people.
Marlow contemplates... ... middle of paper ... .... This is showing the European notion of the belief of Africa to be a highly inferior land. Again, Joseph Conrad allows for a major juxtaposition which easily lets readers comprehend the struggle of Marlow to accept the savage natives as human like himself. Through the direct comparison of the white men as saviors of Africa, Joseph Conrad excludes the natives by presenting them as weak. With extremely deprecating language and poor representation, Joseph Conrad silences the native Africans in Heart of Darkness by glorifying the savagery and inferiority of the natives as compared to the whites.
In conflict over the state of man’s soul and the effect it is having on the heart of darkness that is Africa. Joseph Conrad holds a view of humanity that is skewed in ways, but holds true, obviously, to the novel that he has written. Humanity is dark, and it carries this “brooding gloom” with it wherever it goes. Under the guise of “enlightenment”, they carry their darkness into Africa, where they steal the wealth of a continent. The men are stripped of their culture as they strip an entire landmass of its treasure.
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.
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).
Civilization is not as advanced as first assumed. Joseph Conrad asserts this disheartening message in his novel, Heart of Darkness. The novel follows a European man reliving his journey to the Congo through story telling to his shipmates. Through Marlow’s journey, Conrad reveals the stark contrasts between European civilization and African savagery. Heart of Darkness explores the struggles of different societies with an intention to expose the weaknesses of a complicated imperialistic ideal.
While Collins does a succinct job of examining the economic and political factors that heightened colonization, he fails to hone in on the mental warfare that was an essential tool in creating African division and ultimately European conquest. Not only was the systematic dehumanization tactics crippling for the African society, but also, the system of racial hierarchy created the division essential for European success. The spillover effects of colonialism imparted detrimental affects on the African psyche, ultimately causing many, like Shanu, to, “become victims to the white man’s greed.”