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.
The story takes places during a turbulent colonial period of Africa. This factor clashes the two opposites: "civilized" whites and... ... middle of paper ... ...he ejaculated. When Kurtz was living Marlow referred to him as shadow¸ since he was a metaphysical shadow hanging over his mind making all his thoughts consciously be about Kurtz. However, now when he truly understood what Kurtz was, he called him the Shadow, the true embodiment of evil. As Marlow's journey in Africa terminated the results of the journey would stay in his mind forever, in the mind that went through a dramatic transformation and now was filled with completely different load of understanding the ills and evils of humanity.
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.
In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness ," Achebe accuses Conrad of racism as the essential "heart of darkness." Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as 'the other world,' the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where man's vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality...it is not the differentness that worries Conrad but the lurking hint of kinship, of common ancestry. For the Thames too 'has been one of the dark places of the earth.' It conquered its darkness, of course, and is now in daylight and at peace. 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.
After reading Achebe’s famous essay and Conrad’s novella I’ve come to side with Achebe. Conrad “was a thoroughgoing racist”; Heart of Darkness platforms this clearly. Throughout the novella Conrad describes and represents the Africans and Africa itself in a patronizing and racist way. Constantly throughout the novel, Joseph Conrad was describing Africans by using words bearing a negative connotation. For example, he describes “Kurtz’s African mistress as “savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent.” (5; part 3).
When Conrad refers to Africans through his characters, it seems as if he views them as animals. “Mostly black and nake... ... middle of paper ... ...have grown to the powerhouse that it was. I am not condoning it and saying the treatment of blacks was ok, but Conrad’s novel is a work of its time, and always will be in history. Achebe stated that Conrad’s work was “an offensive and deplorable book.” I believe this view of Heart of Darkness to be true through his inhumane depiction of blacks throughout his novel. Conrad followed in the footsteps of infamous racist in figures, King Leopold II in particular for his barbaric treatment of Africans in the Congo.
The personification of both the ‘angry sea’ who ‘snatched’ Africa and of ‘Mother Asia’, enlivens these elements of ... ... middle of paper ... ...s, so as to hone the contrast between Africa's creation, colonisation and post-colonialism periods. In stanza one, Tagore explores the creation of Africa and cleverly establishes a setting so primal and yet so admirable. This is followed by drastic tone changes in the following stanzas which disturbingly make Africa a victim of imperialism, thereby imparting to readers just a morsel of the hardship of African history. The poem also clearly illustrates the hypocrisy of Western imperialism in the final stanza, where Tagore's juxtaposition of images and words amplify this idea. Eventually, we recognise that the only form of redemption for such Western nations is through a plea for forgiveness that will come when they experience their own downfall.
No Racism in Heart of Darkness Chinua Achebe challenges Joseph Conrad's novella depicting the looting of Africa, Heart of Darkness (1902) in his essay "An Image of Africa" (1975). Achebe's is an indignant yet solidly rooted argument that brings the perspective of a celebrated African writer who chips away at the almost universal acceptance of the work as "classic," and proclaims that Conrad had written "a bloody racist book" (Achebe 319). In her introduction in the Signet 1997 edition, Joyce Carol Oates writes, "[Conrad's] African natives are "dusty niggers," cannibals." Conrad [...] painfully reveals himself in such passages, and numerous others, as an unquestioning heir of centuries of Caucasian bigotry" (Oates 10). The argument seems to lie within a larger question; is the main character Charlie Marlow racist, and is Marlow an extension of Conrad's opinion?
Images of Africa in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as "so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness" (Conrad 94), as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life, but he also manages to depict Africans as though they are not worthy of the respect commonly due to the white man. At one point the main character, Marlow, describes one of the paths he follows: "Can't say I saw any road or any upkeep, unless the body of a middle-aged negro, with a bullet-hole in the forehead, upon which I absolutely stumbled three miles farther on, may be considered as a permanent improvement" (48). Conrad's description of Africa and Africans served to misinform the Western world, and went uncontested for many years. In 1958 Chinua Achebe published his first and most widely acclaimed novel, Things Fall Apart.
Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is dramatic tale of an arduous trek into the darkest part of Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. The story follows the protagonist Marlow, an English marine merchant, as he travels through the African jungle up the Congo river in search for a mysterious man named Kurtz. Through Marlow's narration, Conrad provides a searing indictment of European colonial exploitation inflicted upon African natives. Through his use of irony, characters, and symbolism in the novel, Conrad aims to unveil the underlying horrors of colonialism. By shedding light on the brutality of colonialism in Heart of Darkness, Conrad shows that European values have been irrevocably eclipsed by darkness.