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.
(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 Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, something is always contrasted against something else. Within the title itself, the contrast of light and dark is made. Throughout the book, the contrast is made between good and evil, between the pilgrims and the cannibals that Marlow encounters. Using the ironic opposition of the pilgrims and the cannibals will present a way into a post-colonial analysis of the book. 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.
How does Achebe's personal history and the context in which he wrote "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" reflect the manner in which he views Conrad's idea of racism in the novel? 3. Taking into account Achebe's assumptions and analysis of racism in Heart of Darkness, how does this change Conrad's novel as a literary work, if it does at all? The literal heart of darkness in Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness does not merely incorporate the Belgian Congo, the African savages, the journey to the innermost soul, and England as the corruptor in its attempted colonization of the African people for selfish and commercial purposes. In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness ," Achebe accuses Conrad of racism as the essential "heart of darkness."
He felt he could impact readers through depicting these horrors in his novel. From this viewpoint, Conrad goes on to build his novel of the around the theme of "darkness" compared to a man's natural wi... ... middle of paper ... ...ntiment of the time that the British were indeed helping these natives by civilizing them to British standards. In conclusion, Joseph Conrad uses the theme of "heart of darkness" throughout his novel to portray the darkness within mankind. He describes how man has a natural aspiration for superiority and control. Conrad deliberately leaves the locations unnamed in an effort to show that the "heart of this darkness" can shift on its axis.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Our world has been plagued by racism before biblical times. Two of the most inhumane outgrowths of racism are detribalization and slavery. During the nineteenth-century European Imperialism, racism led to many acts of inhumanity by Europeans, particularly in Africa. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness presents us with a fictional account of these inhumane acts in Africa illustrating that racism and its outgrowths are the most cruel examples of man's inhumanity to man. One reason racism is such a cruel example of man's inhumanity to man is that it is based on thinking of people as members of groups rather than as individuals.
Conrad followed in the footsteps of infamous racist in figures, King Leopold II in particular for his barbaric treatment of Africans in the Congo. Achebe also accused Conrad of being “a thoroughgoing racist,” which I do not agree with. While I do think that Conrad certainly was a racist, he did not take that racism to the extremity that others, such as King Leopold II, did. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad made it clear that he was a racist, but did not carry that racism out to the fullest extent possible.
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.
These words all go together to conjure up an image in the mind of an animal, beast or monster. During the novel... ... middle of paper ... ..., and also used subtle contrasts between characters and places to create in depth detail and to portray the popular secrecy that bound the Victorian era. His feelings and thoughts are cleverly wound into his writing. The morals of the story, it is thought that he wrote the books as an allegory, however discreet are very important. Stevenson believed that gentlemen were hypocrites with outward respectability and inward lust and greed, and in this novel there are several occasions where hypocrisy is brought into the lime light.
Moral Ambiguity in Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness we see various attitudes toward morality. It is extremely difficult, maybe impossible, to deduce the exact endorsement of morality that Conrad intended. Conrad provides his readers with several instances where the interpretation of morality is circumstantial, relative, and even "indeterminable." One finds many situations in the novel that lie somewhere between morality, immorality, and amorality. A few examples from the novel that illustrate this idea are: the depiction of Kurtz as revealed through Marlowe, Marlowe's own actions and thoughts, and the Kurtz' death scene.