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.
(An Image of Africa, Achebe, 1975) Achebe comments on Conrad’s work as a hidden product of racism because criticisms for Heart of Darkness mask the racism and it is now the way we [critics and readers] see the novella. Achebe’s contempt for the novella is beyond the words of Conrad; it is significantly towards the fact—the novella is not criticized more in the light of Conrad’s racism. Achebe’s comment might holds some truth because I didn’t read Heart of Darkness as a racist text.Personally, I saw it has the disintegration of colonialism. As Achebe suggests “am I a product of white racism?” To answer the question above, I am not a product of white racism because personally, I do not see it as a racist text. When I read Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, the language hinted to racism not from the standpoint of Conrad, but from Marlow,the protagonist and the other major and minor characters.
In the wake of Charles's regicide there was a "popular mid-seventeenth-centaury belief that the establishment of a prefect society was imminent" (coward). Many radical movements, from the Levellers to the 5th monarchists flourished, posing a threat to traditional conformist ideas on political, social and religious aspects, which defined many of the boundaries on which the traditional feudal system was based on. This created much controversy among a nation seeking stability, and so this period can be thought of radical in the sense of change. It is important to be aware just how deeply ingrained the church and the Monarchy was in every day life, both during and after the Civil War. They defined most of the boundaries, and structures of 17th century society, resulting in many radical groups expressing their ideas through religion.
Unfortunately, in saying this, Achebe is missing the point. Africa is the darkness, on the outside, but it is an irony in that the Englishmen who go to Africa and are colonizing there are the ones who are dark and barbarous. They are greedy and have become dark, like the appearance of the Africans. Perhaps the "darkness" of the Congo ha... ... middle of paper ... ...ropean conquest, and the bloodthirsty remorselessness that the Europeans show towards the Africans However the fact still remains that Conrad's main message here appears to be 'who are we to judge'. This can be seen with his reference to the Romans.
Many authors argue that Conrad was racist throughout his writing of the book, which came out through his main character Marlow and the way that he presented himself. A large racial contrast in the book was between the white people like Marlow and the black slaves of Africa. This opposition is shown through the white “pilgrims” and the black “cannibals.” Marlow describes a pilgrim in the story as a rough and disorderly man who is a: “bloodthirsty little gingery beggar”(67). Whereas he describes a cannibal as a quiet man who has control and is essentially the opposite of how pilgrims are described. This interesting because cannibals are usually known as humans that eat other human beings, so having pilgrims described as “bloodthirsty” shows an ironic contradiction.
Furthermore, he refutes the notion that the Africans are "enemies" and "criminals," (27) saying instead that they are "nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation," (28) mere victims of European exploitation, which is evident in their payment of "brass wire" (74) to the Africans. He becomes both astounded and appalled by this method of payment. He struggled to comprehend just how they could ever make use of their "extravagant salary" (74) if there were no villages in sight and no chance of the boat ever stopping, making it impossible for them to trade their earnings. This opposition can be viewed further in Marlow's attraction and fondness of the book he finds in the hut. Written by a "Master in his Majesty's Navy," (68) the book, titled An Inquiry into some Points of Seamanship, possesses "a singleness of intention, an honest concern for the right way of going to work," (68) a clear condemnation aimed directly at the colonizers.
Racism is cleverly hidden within the text, but imperialism is innocently depicted as the civilization of the Congolese people. Conrad’s writing can be interpreted two different ways. One approach is the reader might interpret his writing as an attack on the Europeans as the imperialists trying to help the Congolese, but the African people refuse their help. In contrast, the other approach might be that they feel sympathetic to the Congolese people. They see the Europeans has cruel and heartless.
hrmmm Perhaps Marlow's decision to lie to the Intended was in recognition that when the product of two completely different worlds collide, things start to fall apart. The Ivory of Africa corrupts the Europeans. The isolation of the wilderness removes Kurtz's restraint. Throughout the novella, Conrad also associates Europeans with being "in the dark" about the true nature of the exploitation within Africa. Perhaps Marlow, recognizing this, realizes that the dark horrors of Africa have no place in European society.
This novel expresses a psychological factor through the use of scientific theories showing the horror that lies beneath them. As the novel’s need for explorations grows, the reader can notice the change throughout the settings and comfort of the scientists therefore growing the psychological build. “Certain influences in that of the unknown Antarctic world make it imperative that further exploration be discouraged.” (Lovecraft 201.) It took the plane crash, mountain, and labyrinth exploration for them to finally realize the dangers that lurked and prevented them from looking deeper. Being so excited about a trip to make discoveries so at the end it could all be terminated early makes one wonder what went on to all of a sudden stop searching.
In literature, contrasting places are used by certain authors as a way of representing opposed forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work. We see this used in the novella “Heart Of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad as he applies the jungles of Africa and Europe to develop the concept of civilization and the heart of darkness respectively. However many critics such as Chinua Achebe and Karin Hannson believe that Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a racist work displaying the mistreatment of African natives being below Marlow and Kurtz.In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad 's Heart of Darkness," Chinua Achebe criticizes Joseph Conrad for his racist stereotypes towards the continent and people of Africa. Despite this, Conrad