Ignorance of another's personal values or situation results in an impassable schism between the two parties. People fail to understand each other, and as such, they regard each other in lower lights. In “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad, through Marlow, writes his novella through a lense of ignorance and the perspective of the typical white person of the time in order to relate his story to the reader. Marlow and the accountant are contrasted with Kurtz to display the effects of evil on an individual.
‘Heart of Darkness’ was written in 1899 by a Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, about the expedition up the Congo River in the Heart of Africa. This essay will mainly deal with the reference of the ‘darkness’ in the novel and it even deals with the theme which will further support the statement.
Hunt Hawkins presents the controversy that Joseph Conrad’s, Heart of Darkness, encounters, as its contents portray Africans as dehumanizing, savage, and uncivilized beings. In order to provide a sufficient amount of information with regards to the controversy, Hawkins introduces the analysis of distinct scholars to describe racism, imperialism, and human nature. As a result, an analysis of the characters are provided to the audience and allow an individual to understand why Conrad decided to write Heart of Darkness the way he did. Thus, during this process, Hawkins describes the manifestation of the darkness that eventually consumes Kurtz.
The use of various literary devices in Joseph Conrad’s novel helps to bring his story to life, which ultimately is to his advantage. Conrad brings the reader into the darkness, displayed the corruptibility of humankind and left them pondering the absurdity of evil and imperialism. One of the strongest literary devices that Conrad uses to engage the reader in his novella is the use of imagery. However other important literary devices that are used throughout the novel as well as in the extract above is: similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing, and symbolism and narrative techniques.
The lights from the city reflected the Thames River because London is described as being light, the light symbolizes Conrad’s view of civilization. According to Conrad civilization is where evil is present but ignored. The light is the knowledge that is gained through exploring. Conrad uses Africa and the Congo River to represent the evil that waits in the unknown. The darkness is said to be full of savages and cannibals it is further emphasized as being the uncivilized part of the world where people eat people and the savages wait in the trees and in the darkness. Africa in this novella is portrayed as “the Heart of Darkness” the place where the men’s inner evil is exposed, this is done through their thoughts and actions.
In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the natives of Africa – the Blacks – were represented in such a way that they seemed to have close to little or no value compared to the Whites. The constant use of animal imagery in the novel is both a comparison and a symbol that has been used in order to dehumanize any character that was not White. As such, it can be said that the novel seeks to represent the Blacks of Africa as lowlife beings, prehistoric barbarians and savage creatures that have no rights to say anything for themselves. However, Conrad also shows a flipside to the typical ideology of Whites being superior to Blacks by representing the Blacks as a strong and restrained group of people, confined only due to helplessness.
In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad shows human nature’s tendency toward callousness through the use of greed, imperialism, and darkness. Throughout the book the topics of greed, imperialism, and heartlessness give examples of the flaw that humans cannot fix. Humans tend to help others when there is a benefit for them to gain. This greed drives humans to overlook the unthinkable in order to satisfy their lust for power and money. The attempted help of the Englishmen becomes the disease that slowly starts to cripple the host to gain the power they desire. Conrad utilizes ideas of greed, imperialism, and the symbolism of darkness to show that humans are inherently selfish.
Imperialism in general refers to the power of a country over another country or the power of a person over another person. According to Evans the Scramble for Africa (1880-1900) was the era of imperialism. The Europeans leaders were fighting among themselves to colonize the African continent because Africa was rich in ivory. In 1884 Berlin Conference was held to decide the future of Africa. They finalized to create free trade in the Congo region, free navigation and created rules to divide Africa among themselves. Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness during this period so, those historical backgrounds on colonization help to portray the theme of imperialism in this novel. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad portrays themes of imperialism in three different views through his main character Marlow. Therefore, this essay argues on how Heart of Darkness comment on Imperialism based on the power of the colonizers, the power of Mr. Kurtz and imperialistic view of Conrad over women.
Often in literature, the physical journey the main character takes represents their psychological growth. In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Marlow’s journey into the heart of the Congo represents his progression into the darkest parts of his mind. As he travels deeper into the foreign terrain, he begins to question the world around him and himself.
The main character, Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s 1910 novel The Heart of Darkness begins his journey into Africa skeptical of what might occur, but naive to the true horrors that were in stake for the young man. Marlow’s detailed descriptions of the sights and torturous actions towards the natives he witnesses along his journey lead to many literary critics to deem Conrad a racist. One author notorious for calling Joseph Conrad out on his racist remarks is Chinua Achebe who gained fame from his article “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. Achebe’s article professes that almost everything within Conrad’s novel is an act of pure racism. This, however, is not the case, as Conrad was just telling the truth of what occurred within Africa during the time of European colonization. Hugh Curtler refutes Achebe’s statements in his literary criticism “Political Correctness and the Attack on Great Literature”. This article takes a practical viewpoint about the book and stresses the point that Conrad was trying to explain the events that occurred during his time in Africa in a style of writing for the people at the time. Literary critics like Achebe label Conrad as complete racist, however, he is, in fact, the complete opposite as he utilizes this story as a way to paint a picture of the cruel actions that occurred at the time.
In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the imperialism of Africa is described. Conrad tells the story of the cruel treatment of the natives and of the imperialism of the Congo region through the perspective of the main character, Marlow. Throughout the novel, Marlow describes how the Europeans continuously bestow poor treatment to the native people by enslaving them in their own territory. Analyzing the story with the New Criticism lens, it is evident that Conrad incorporates numerous literary devices in Heart of Darkness, including similes, imagery, personification, and antitheses to describe and exemplify the main idea of cruel imperialism in Africa discussed throughout the novella.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness takes a multi-faceted approach to the issues that surrounded 19th century colonization and imperialism in Africa. Marlow’s journey into the heart of Africa serves to highlight the hypocrisy of this endeavor, and how this deceit followed the rhetoric utilized by the colonizers in order to justify their colonization of Africa and the treatment of the natives. As the novel progresses, Africa becomes more of a backdrop for Conrad to truly expose the depravity of European intervention in Africa.Through Marlow’s narrative, varying connotations of words and his own main character’s reactions,as well as copious amounts of descriptive imagery, Conrad casts Europeans in a negative light in order to criticize imperialism and colonists.
An image of such madness is apparent through Conrad's works of psychological influence within physical and mental health. The mental well-being of the characters,
In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the imperialism of Africa is described. Conrad tells the story of the cruel treatment of the natives and of the imperialism of the Congo region through the perspective through the main character, Marlow. Through the lens of New Criticism, it is evident that Conrad incorporates numerous literary devices in Heart of Darkness, including similes, imagery, personification, and antitheses to describe and exemplify the main idea of cruel imperialism in Africa discussed throughout the novella.
Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Polish- British writer Joseph Conrad in 1899. Since it was written Heart of Darkness has been criticized as a colonial work. One of the critics who condemn Joseph Conrad and his work has been the Nigerian authors and critics Chinua Achebe in his work "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad 's 'Heart of Darkness". Achebe considers Conrad as “a thoroughgoing racist” (Achebe 5) for depicting Africa as "the other world" (Achebe 2). The aim of this study is to examine Heart of Darkness referring to the Achebe’s ideas in his 1977 essay.