A Comparison Of Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1352 Words6 Pages
Achebe’s novel is very different from Heart of Darkness. In Conrad’s story, we follow a white man and his journey through Africa. This book is also divided into three parts. One thing that is very interesting in this story is the narrator. The story is told through one of four people who sit and listen to Marlow, who is narrating the whole story. Sometimes this can be really confusing. Deeper into the story we follow Marlow’s journey to find Kurtz. Marlow is chosen to be the captain of a steamboat since the earlier captain had died. Marlow has a mission to take the boat down Congo River, at least this is the impression, all the way to the coastal station. At one point Marlow says: “The best way I can explain it to you is by saying that for…show more content…
“They howled and leaped and spun and made horrid faces, but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity-like yours- the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough…” (Conrad 36) One important aspect and a main theme in the book is Marlow’s criticism of imperialism. He criticizes imperialism but not from the perspective of the colonized people; he does not care about them. Instead, he criticizes it because of what it does to the white man who has to spend time in an uncivilized country. In his view, the white man is taken from the “civilized” Europe into uncivilized countries where he grows violent because of the lawless environment. “I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope, each had an iron collar on his neck and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking” (Conrad 15). This quote shows us one of the effects of colonization and imperialism. Instead of helping the Africans, the Europeans used them as slaves and treated them as animals. In my view, this quote is very useful in describing the effects of…show more content…
We as readers are privy to each character’s private thoughts and emotions, but not limited to one character’s point of view. There is also very little dialogue, which gives the impression of oral story-telling. The importance of oral story-telling is evident throughout the book, as the Igbo people honor and uphold the tradition. Although there is no dominant point of view, the narrator shifts between characters throughout. Even though we begin with Okonkwo, we also get the opportunity to see the world differently through the thoughts of Ikemefuna, Nwoye, even the District Commissioner in the last paragraph. This shifting viewpoint allows the reader to consider all sides of the
Open Document