Anti-Colonialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Introduction Anti-colonialist? Or a bloody racist? Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is one of the most gruesome images ever depicted in Western literature. Employing the cultural studies criticism, new insights regarding the ideological discourses of the novella, both conscious and unconscious to the author, can be shed, in the two conflicting terms of anti-colonialism and racism. Further on, given the immense complexity and vagueness, the novella can also be interpreted as a prototype of new historicist criticism or cultural criticism, which embodies two conflicting views simultaneously. The Discourse of Anti-Colonialism Anti-colonialism is one of the most evident themes in Heart of Darkness, which could be observed primarily from the representation…show more content…
The word “ivory” rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it.” (Conrad, 44) Here Conrad constructed a poignant scorn, a caustic irony, an image of corruption. The colonialists, the supreme white men, are now aspiring ivory in the way the pilgrims would to their God! The piercing irony makes clear Marlow’s discontent with the life style of his own race under the system of colonialism, which then points to his opposition with…show more content…
That was evident in such things as the deplorable state of the station. He had no learning, and no intelligence.” (Conrad, 42) Here, Marlow accuses the general manger for his lack of capacity and the terrible states of the station, and tells that he is not a qualified manager with inadequate intelligence. This is an interesting contrast with Kurtz, who, despite the more intelligent, capable, and admirable impression, is subordinate to the general manager. As Marlow later explains, the success of the manager owns much to his strong constitution, which helped him outlives other competitors. “His position had come to him—why? Perhaps because he was never ill… He had served three terms of three years out there… Because triumphant health in the general rout of constitution is a kind of power in itself… He originated nothing, but he could keep the routine going—that’s all.” (Conrad,
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