What, exactly, is imperialism? According to Mueni Wa Muiu, imperialism is “the economic, cultural and political domination or control of one county or group of people in ways assumed to be at the expense of the latter” (Wa Muiu). The events taking place in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness certainly concur with this definition. At one point in Marlow’s narrative, he comes upon a grove in the woods where natives of Africa are literally sitting in the shade, waiting to die. Marlow describes them as having “attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair,” noting that they were “dying slowly,” and that these men had become “nothing more but black shadows of disease and starvation” (Conrad 83). During another part of Marlow’s narrative, he describes how men were linked together with heavy chains, keeping them together while being forced to do the labor of the white men (Conrad 81).
Wa Muiu continu...
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Conrad, Joseph. A Personal Record. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1912. Web.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer. New York: Signet Classic, 1997. Print.
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Wa Muiu, Mueni. "Civilization" On Trial: The Colonial And Postcolonial State In Africa." Journal Of Third World Studies 25.1 (2008): 73-93. Sociological Collection. Web. 10 May 2014.
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