Conrad shows racism against Africans in many ways throughout his novel. “Black figures strolled about listlessly...steam ascended in the moonlight, the beaten nigger groaned somewhere (Conrad, 30).” The most clear and obvious instance of racism is the use of the word “nigger”. It is a word that is viewed as extremely negative and demeaning towards Africans by many. Conrad uses this word many times to address the Africans throughout his work. “Nigger” has come to be extremely frowned upon in cultures across the world and has come to be unacceptable to be used in people’s vocabulary for its derogatory meaning that it has come to have, originating from racism and prejudice against Africans in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
As Marlow, the main character of the novel, comes across Africans along his journey, his racism shows through his reflections on what he observes. When Conrad refers to Africans through his characters, it seems as if he views them as animals. “Mostly black and nake...
... middle of paper ...
...have grown to the powerhouse that it was. I am not condoning it and saying the treatment of blacks was ok, but Conrad’s novel is a work of its time, and always will be in history.
Achebe stated that Conrad’s work was “an offensive and deplorable book.” I believe this view of Heart of Darkness to be true through his inhumane depiction of blacks throughout his novel. 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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Heart of Darkness has been reviewed by many different critics. There are many issues in Joseph Conrad’s book such as imperialism, cruelty, and how isolation can change a person. A noticeable topic in the book is the ending with Marlow. The book has an outer and inner story. Marlow tells the inner story because it is of his previous experience in Africa. In the beginning of the book, Marlow says that he hates lying yet he lies to Kurtz’s Intended. In order to figure out why Marlow lied and how it affects the story, evidence from different sources must be viewed.... [tags: Heart of Darkness Essays]
2550 words (7.3 pages)
- The Theme of Darkness in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Works Cited Not Included It has been said that although Conrad may not have been 'the greatest novelist, he was certainly the greatest artist every to write a novel';. I feel that this is an apt description of Conrad's writing style in Heart of Darkness (1902), as he paints many verbal pictures by using expressive words and many figurative descriptions of places and people. An extensive use of words relating to colour, is evident throughout the novella.... [tags: Heart Darkness Joseph Conrad Essays]
1326 words (3.8 pages)
- The Light and Dark of Colonialism in Heart of Darkness In the opening of his novel, Heart of Darkness, Conrad, through Marlow, establishes his thoughts on colonialism. He says that conquerors only use brute force, "nothing to boast of" because it arises, by accident, from another's weakness. Marlow compares his subsequent tale of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe and the fascination associated with such an endeavor. However, Marlow challenges this viewpoint by painting a heinous picture of the horrors of colonialist ventures as we delve deeper into the recesses of the novel.... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
1243 words (3.6 pages)
- Racism in Heart of Darkness I find no elements of racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I will admit that I began reading this with a little hesitation based on the fact that I do not like to read about human cruelty. However, after reading the story, I did not feel any negative feelings toward the story or author. I feel one must realize that the occurrences of this story were really happening. I do not feel that by the virtue of performing a task that one is hired to do makes one a racist.... [tags: HOD Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness]
587 words (1.7 pages)
- The Orphan Characters of Heart of Darkness All Conrad's major characters are, in a fundamental sense, orphans. To men like Marlow, his parents offer him no predestined place in an ordered world, or, if such a place exists, they do not feel it is a real alternative for them. The knowledge of a hostile, annihilating force at the center of existence brings to Conrad's characters a constant sense of their personal vulnerability. Before this revelation, they were orphans in search of a ground for their lives, but they never doubted their ability to discover such a ground.... [tags: Heart of Darkness]
1072 words (3.1 pages)
- A Journey into the Soul in Heart of Darkness A picture is an abstract idea, brought into context to form something concrete. They are made up and created to give off some sort of feeling or mood, that one can relate too. The atmosphere helps determine what kind of mood the picture will take. Any author, of either a painting or piece of literature will set the mood by using their atmosphere to enhance the theme of their creation. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses mood and atmosphere to help create a portrait called, the journey into the soul.... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
1544 words (4.4 pages)
- A Journey into the Heart of Darkness The white man is evil, or so says Joseph Conrad in his novel Heart of Darkness, which describes the colonial transformation of the symbolically angelic African wilderness into an evil haven for the white man. The novel presents a psychological journey into the core of evil or "heart of darkness" in one's own mind, as he or she progresses through the jungle. The reader follows Marlow, the novel's narrator, along such a journey. His psychological changes as he approaches the heart of darkness are evident, as the reader observes, in his views of the African natives, lying and Kurtz. Marlow is an honest man. He sets out on a genuine search for answe... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
692 words (2 pages)
- Depiction of Africa in Heart of Darkness Chinua Achebe believes that Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness is racist based on Conrad's descriptions of Africa and it's people. Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, stresses Conrad's depiction of Africa as the antithesis of Europe and civilization, and the animal imagery present throughout the novella. Heart of Darkness, written in 1899 during the period of British Imperialism, concerns a British trading company and their expedition into the Congo for ivory.... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
494 words (1.4 pages)
- Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness The brightest of lights can obscure vision while darkness can contain truths: one must not be distracted by the sheen of light, which conceals the deeper reality present in darkness. Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness illustrates this idea with the use of several symbols. White Europeans are used as symbols of self-deception, and objects with an alabaster quality are symbols of barriers to inner truth. Black is the foil of white; it represents the inner truth beneath the white surface reality.... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
1182 words (3.4 pages)
- Pure Horror in Heart of Darkness In Heart of Darkness it is the white invaders for instance, who are, almost without exception, embodiments of blindness, selfishness, and cruelty; and even in the cognitive domain, where such positive phrases as "to enlighten," for instance, are conventionally opposed to negative ones such as "to be in the dark," the traditional expectations are reversed. In Kurtz's painting, as we have seen, "the effect of the torch light on the face was sinister" (Watt 332).... [tags: Heart Darkness essays]
1462 words (4.2 pages)