The Role Of European Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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In Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, he asserts man’s extensive capacity for evil. Through the method of European imperialism, Conrad contrasts the civilized outer European world to the dark uncharted African jungle. Charlie Marlow, the protagonist of the story, recounts his journey into the Congo to resupply the ivory stations and his quest for a man named Kurtz while explaining his adventures to four other men on ship called the Nellie, which happens to be heading towards London on a river called the Thames. Marlow decides to share his trek when he notices the London skyline and begins to think of “ ‘one of the dark places of the earth,’ ” thus referring to the African Congo (11). Mr. Kurtz serves as the mysterious character in the…show more content…
Marlow reinforces that Kurtz represents “ ‘all [of] Europe’ ” and that his immense wealth in ivory and including his role as a figurehead upon the natives serves as a representation of the European society as well. This representation of Kurtz by Marlow helps unravel his mystery by describing Kurtz as an emissary for Europe that will hopefully also unravel the problematic nuances of Europe in the future. Marlow arrives in the inner station and meets the Russian before Kurtz, the narrator on the Nellie with Marlow claims that the Russian “nodded with a nod full of mystery and wisdom” when he had told Marlow about his experiences with Kurtz (52). The Russian supports the mystery behind Kurtz as well by explaining impact he leaves upon him. This claim by the narrator elucidates that some of Kurtz’s “charm” rubs off on those who are fortunate enough to meet him, therefore describing Kurtz as a some kind of enrichment to life
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