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.
Patrick Brantlinger, "Heart of Darkness: Anti-Imperialism, Racism, or Impressionism?" Criticism (Fall, 1985) 364.
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1983) 13. Hillman, James. "Notes on White Supremacy: Essaying an Archetypal Account of Historical Events," Spring (1986): 29-57. McLynn, Frank. Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa.
Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa. New York: Carol & Gey, 1992. Said, Edward W. "The Imperial Attitude." Barnet 1502.
Realization of Inner Evil in Heart of Darkness It was said by Thomas Moser that "in order to truly be alive one must recognize the truth, the darkness, the evil and the death within" (Moser, 156). Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, goes very far to explain and prove this statement. During the novel the reader takes part in a spiritual and inner journey through Africa and the mind of the protagonist, Marlow. As a consequence of his newly gained knowledge and experience he is able to exhibit his understanding of life and recount his journey into Africa. The Heart of Darkness explores the idea of self-discovery and the realization of inner evil through the characters Kurtz and Marlow and through the exploration of the dark continent of Africa.
Marlow tells the inner story because it is of his previous experience in Africa. In the beginning of the book, Marlow says that he hates lying yet he lies to Kurtz’s Intended. In order to figure out why Marlow lied and how it affects the story, evidence from different sources must be viewed. Birgit and Daniel Maier-Katkin focus on the broad topic of how humanity is affected and the banality of evil. They address the “problem of evil in an environment dominated by crimes against humanity: the Congo during the reign of the Belgian King Leopold” (Maier-Katkin 584).
Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New York: Norton Critical, 1988. Edward W. Said, The World, the Text, and the Critic. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1983) 13.
Robert Kimbrough. New York: Norton Critical, 1988. Patrick Brantlinger, "Heart of Darkness: Anti-Imperialism, Racism, or Impressionism?" Criticism (Fall, 1985) 364.
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.