Analysis Of Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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This assignment aims to focus on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and depict how his work has emphasised the harsh nature of colonization, the torture under the Whites and the unheard subaltern voice of the native Africans that haunts their suppressors by the end of this eye opening literary text. It represents the championing of the White Supremes over the Black Subordinates in a tormenting and homicidal depiction, reducing the value of human life to utter exploitation and worthlessness. The novella portrays how binaries influenced by hierarchy can cause racism and torture bringing out the animalistic nature of the White superiors. “T.S. Eliot read it as a work about evil, life 's bleak hopelessness, and moral emptiness, neglecting the 'affirmation…show more content…
What is particularly interesting is that Conrad transformed a personal experience into a fiction of general historical and cultural significance. With little sense of strain, he moved from self to society; it was one of his eccentricities to mythologize an historical self, to place his own life at the heart of historical conflicts. (Ross)
The ‘Heart of Darkness’ is representative of the African continent which is perceived to be at the centre of the Earth and that which was believed to be lagging in terms of progression and development. But by the end of the novella, readers question this notion: is it really Africa that is hidden away in darkness or the hearts of the brutal colonizers under whom the natives have suffered in their own land?
The plot of the novella revolves around Charles Marlow the protagonist, who is along with his fellow sailors aboard his ship Nellie anchored in the river Thames, narrating the story of his journey into the African continent, or as the Whites would put it “the heart of darkness.” This was the place that kept him wondering from childhood as depicted in
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The company’s territory was marked and divided into three distinct sectors- the outer, central and inner stations which had explicit graphic differences as describes by Marlowe. The outer station is a horrific display of human bodies left to die and rot, the central station offers a depleted image where the natives are forced and tortured inorder to work for the company or they have fled in desperation, and the inner station holds within Kurtz’s hut. The reality of the social organization thus produced by capitalist exploration and exploitation of the region is grounded in one particular signifier, a commodity which is of the essence of Africa and vital to European profit margins. That signifier/commodity is ivory. (Ross)
The company dealt with ivory trade which is found in abundance in the African continent especially within the rich forest resources and they seemed to be addicted to its trade as mentioned by the author "and the word 'ivory ' rang in the air, was whispered, and was sighed. You would think they were praying to it"
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