The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

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Throughout time, man has faced many difficulties that have put into question the morals of society and humanity. One case in particular is the differentiation and segregation of people based on race. Never has there been an instance in society where this has not come into question, whether it be Medieval Europe or Colonial America, racism has played a substantial role in shaping civilization. With this in mind, it comes to say that culture has too been greatly affected by this atrocity. Literature, movies, and songs have all through the years reflected the views of the time period, some even going as far to shape how people base their views in the future. One novel that has sparked not only controversy, but has been under constant questioning for nearly a century, is The Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad. Conrad tells the tale of a man who travels up the Congo River at the height of European colonialism while describing what he sees. Some of the language that is used in this novel brings up the racist or not question. Although the tone and vocabulary used my come off as racist, this novel is only a representation of the time period that mocks the growing colonial powers in Africa, while at the same time showing sympathy towards opposing views.
One of the primary factors that plays a central role in the controversy of The Heart of Darkness, is whether the language used is intended to be racist. Although, words such as the n-word and relatively vulgar descriptions are utilized throughout the novel, that does not mean they are there simply to belittle the Africans. A leader in the racist side of this campaign is Chinua Achebe who strongly believes that Joseph Conrad’s purpose for this novel was to express his racist views....


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...what they know at the time. For instance, if one were to take a superficial glance at this novel, they may think that it is in fact racist due to vulgar descriptions and language used towards Africans. After an in-depth reading and close analysis, however, the true purpose of this novel become prevalent. Conrad had no intentions of coming off as racist to his audience, but instead was only working with the general views of his time period. Not only that, the colonizing of Africa towards the end of the nineteenth-century suggests that this novel revolves around the growing industry of colonization and imperialism. Finally, being far from racist, Conrad shows sympathy towards those who are affected by the change of power in Africa. In the end, it all comes down to opinions, but with this facts and examples, there is no way to view The Heart of Darkness as being racist.

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