Prejudice and Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Prejudice and Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Racism in Heart of Darkness  


In the novel, Heart of Darkness, the author Joseph Conrad makes some comments, and he uses different terms to describe people of color that may offend some people. Also the readers can see how racist the Europeans were toward blacks not only because they were turned into slaves. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them. There are many examples of discrimination towards woman in this story. Women were looked down and they were considered to be worth less then men, or even not as important. Racism and discrimination are all over in this novel.

Joseph Conrad makes some remarks about blacks that are very disturbing and racist. One example of this is when he says, "…the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly" (Conrad). This just goes to show how Conrad was a complete racist. The thought of a black man’s humanity being compared to Conrad’s was just plain ugly to Conrad. That is plain and simple racism. Another example is the first time he saw a black man he said, "A certain enormous buck nigger encountered in Haiti fixed my conception of blind, furious, unreasoning rage, as manifested in the human animal to the end of my days. Of the nigger I used to dream for years afterwards" (Conrad). This remark Conrad made was disturbing and clearly racist because he described the black man as a "nigger" more then once.

The Europeans were racist toward blacks. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them because their black. For example Conrad says, "the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly" (Conrad). This just goes to show that when Conrad is compared to a black man he is discussed because he is racist. One reason we say the Europeans were racist was because they made the blacks be their slaves. The audience can see the people of color doing work for the white people and that just goes to show that they were racist.

Women are discriminated throughout this book. There is not place in this book in which a woman has a job of equality to a man. The audience can see that the men do not treat woman very well or with any respect throughout Heart of Darkness. For example Kurtz had a mistress of some kind and she is described as a savage.

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"She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent…She stood looking at us without a stir and like the wilderness itself, with an air of brooding over an inscrutable purpose" (Conrad). The way this mistress was described as a savage is an example of how women are discriminated against in this book.

In conclusion racism and discrimination played a huge part in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. We saw this through Conrad’s comments, and his different uses of terms to describe people of color. Also the readers can see how racist the Europeans were toward blacks. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them. There are many examples of discrimination towards woman in this story. Women were looked down and they were considered to be worth less then men, or even not as important. There are many examples of racism and discrimination in Heart of Darkness.
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