Essay on Condemnation of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness

Essay on Condemnation of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness

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Condemnation of Imperialism in Heart of Darkness

 
   Though Conrad did not learn English until he was twenty-one, he still mastered the language and artfully uses it in Heart of Darkness. One sentence of his is particularly striking, as it sums up the views that he condemns throughout the novella. The accountant, one of the first imperialists Marlow meets, says to him, "When one has got to make correct entries, one comes to hate these savages-hate them to the death"(Conrad). This sentence is a perfect example of the typical imperialistic belief that Marlow denounces, and serves as a synecdoche for the entire work.

 

One important characteristic of imperialistic belief is the impersonality that makes imperialism happen. The repetition of the word "one" is significant because it shows that detachment. The imperialists try to appease their consciences by making the natives less than human. Marlow and Kurtz are both exceptions to this ideal, but in contrasting ways. Kurtz uses fear to belittle the natives, but does not take away their humanity. Marlow, however, considers t...

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