Stereotypes Of The Natives In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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It has been observed that both novels use stereotypes in order to characterize the natives. In Heart of Darkness, the audience never meets a dynamic native African nor is there much dialogue between the Europeans or the natives. Most of the descriptions are made through Marlow’s observations where he often characterizes them as inhuman: “It was unearthly, and the men were—No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it—the suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity—like yours—the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but…show more content…
Marlow uses words such as “howled”, “leaped”, “spun”, and “horrid faces” to draw a comparison between the natives and animals. This animalistic behavior is ‘ugly’ in Marlow’s eyes because he considers himself civil. Additionally, Marlow suggests the motif of traveling back in time when he says, “--you so remote from the night of first ages--could comprehend”. He is essentially saying that this animalistic behavior is like watching humankind at its very beginning. It draws the comparisons of two individuals on the opposite spectrum: the white man is further along and more evolved than a native…show more content…
He even goes as far as to strip them at the lowest of the low, he takes away their humanity from being an enemy, or even a criminal, and he does not even allow them the privilege of belonging to the earth. Conrad also uses negative connotations through “death and disease” to show juxtaposition of what would be a calm “greenish bloom”. In his description no one else even seems to care about the natives who are slowly starving to death, it is just

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