Essay on Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

Essay on Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

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Joseph Conrad’s s book Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical land of Africa as “so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness”, (Conrad 154) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were spread all over the world. This event and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication. Very few people saw anything wrong with colonialism in Africa and the African people. From a Eurocentric point of view, colonialism was the natural next-step in any powerful countries agenda. The colonizers did not give any heed to the native peoples in their territories, nor did they think of the natives as anything but savages. In the Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses Marlow to contradict the acts of man and the destruction they brought to Africa and the people. Conrad shows, through fiction, that the blindness and lack of morality in Africa allowed for the release of the darkness from the hearts of the colonists.
At the beginning of his novel Conrad, through Marlow, establishes his thoughts on colonialism. He says that conquerors only use brute force, "nothing to boast of” (Conrad 13) because it arises, by accident, from another 's weakness. Marlow compares his tale of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe. In comparison to Marlow thoughts on European colonizing, Sir Henry Morton Stanley states that “No part of Africa, look where I might, appeared so promising to me as this neglected tenth part of the continent”, which seem to me that ...


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...ty of the white man who is tempted by his foray into the wilderness to go native, lose the trappings of civilization, and revert to a more primitive state of mind. Through Marlow 's state of mind of the introduction to a darkness state, he develops a light inside his own soul. Instead of being blind to the unknown and undeveloped continent he overcomes a battle with himself, which in turn, successfully overcomes battles with his savage side and comes out the darkness a changed man. It shows that no matter how good something or someone seems to be, there is always a heart of darkness down inside the souls of man. Colonialism, the journey of the inner-self, the theme of immorality and blindness compared to light and civilization, indicates an understanding that Marlow 's voyage into the Congo, is symbolic of the journey he had to take into the deepest side of himself.

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