Their works focus on the dark side of imperialism and the effects it had on the colonized states and the people in the states. In Shooting and Elephant, the conflict is between George Orwell and the natives over an unruly elephant, and in Heart of Darkness the readers travel into the depths of not only Africa, but of the human soul, where heartless acts take place. When Marlow reaches Africa, he witnesses the inhumanity upon the native people. The trading companies treat the natives like slaves by taking advantage of them and forcing them to work hard. The Europeans are trying to prove that they are stronger by purposely targeting a weaker country that is less developed for their economic benefit.
2. Comparison of Purpose 2.1. Achebe: To Denounce Heart of Darkness Chinua Achebe is considered as the man who redefined our way of reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Indeed, while focusing on the description of Africa and its people, the Nigerian writer laid serious charges against it for its racist stereotypes and highlighted the colonizer’s oppression on the natives. In truth, even after thirty-four years of his first delivered public lecture “An image of Africa”, excoriating the book, he spoke again against it in an interview with Robert Siegel where it seems that, for him, the novella is the product of “a seductive writer and who could pull his reader into the fray.” Thus, he wanted to disclose the truth about its hidden intentions so that the reader would not be fooled by its tricky writing style.
Kurtz was called back to his Inner Station by the “many powers of darkness [that] claimed him” which was not only his greed and thirst for power but also the darkness within humanity. Kurtz originally traveled to the Congo in hopes to enlighten and humanize the native African. However, once he was able to relish the power that belonged to him in the jungle, Kurtz could not resist the call of his own primitive greed. Within the jungles of the Congo, Kurtz experienced a power over the African men that he cannot receive in the civilized nature of Europe. The native offered “unspeakable rites” and sacrifices for Kurtz and worshipped him.
Practically the whole story we witness not only the mental deterioration of Marlow but also Kurtz. Kurtz apparently lost his head while in the jungle. He became obsessed with the hunt for ivory and became so power driven that he put a bunch of natives heads on stake outside of his hut. In Marlow’s words, “The powers of darkness have claimed him for their own" By the “powers of darkness” Conrad is referring to the animalistic instinctual behavior that is allowed to thrive in the jungle where there is no rules. The last obvious message that the darkness cannot be contained in the jungle is the behavior of the station manager.
As Marlow goes deeper into the heart of the continent, Conrad’s depiction of Africa is infused with a sense of fear loathing and abomination coupled with a sense that there is some dire evil at work; a malevolent force that carries out the acts of inhumanity. Illustrations of Joseph Conrad’s don’t only focus on Africa as a continent but also carries on the physical and mental characterization of the natives. The author describes Marlow’s first encounter with an African ceremony as, “a burst of yells, a whirl of black limbs, a mass of hands clapping, of feet stamping, of bodies swaying, of eyes rolling” (Joseph 57). Joseph Conrad goes portrays Marlow’s reaction to this somewhat bewildering frenzy of the natives “as sane men would be before an enthusiastic outbreak in a madhouse” (Joseph 58). Conrad’s description of these people shows them as deranged, frenzied, and intense feverish savages, not an image any modern day western writer would dare to warm up to.
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
One Michael Leunig once said: “The hypocrisy of some is that we like to think of ourselves as sophisticated and evolved, but we’re still also drive by primal urges like greed and power.” This essay aims to extrapolate the falseness of the whites and present the subjugation the blacks endured in those times. Through the employment of characterization fueled with situational irony, Oyono is able to point out the brutalization of the blacks. At the beginning of the novel, an ignorant and naive Toundi “refers to his ancestors as cannibals and says that since the white men came they have learnt other men must not be
Park encountered a group of slaves when traveling through Mandinka country: They were all very inquisitive, but they viewed me at first with looks of horror, and repeatedly asked if my countrymen were cannibals. They were very desirous to know what became of the slaves after they had crossed the salt water. I told them that they were employed in cultivating the land; but they would not believe me … A deeply-rooted idea that the whites purchase Negroes for the purpose of devouring them, or of selling them to others that they may be devoured hereafter …” Mungo Park died in 1806 Northern Nigeria Bussa by drowning while on his second expedition to trace the course of the Niger River. The town site is now covered by Lake Kainji, which was created in 1968 with the construction of the Lake Kainji dam. The town was re-located to what is now called New Bussa.
Furthermore, the issue of savagery is clearly understood as a place that is infected, corrupt and has a lot of uncertainties. The savage place described is assumed to be Africa, where everything is nothing but a big mess. The character of Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness” is very vague at the beginning of the story. Marlow learns tit bits of information about Kurtz from different people and Marlow finds Kurtz to be a very interesting character. It has been said that Kurtz was one of the most successful ivory trader the Company has ever had.
Marxism sees society as being corrupted and divided into two classes; the rich or the bourgeoisie (the white men) who exploit the less powerful class; the poor natives (the Africans). This injustice and exploitation are illustrated in Conrad’s novella mentioning the atrocities of the Western imperialism as in the first part of the story when Marlow recounts what he saw as he traveled to the Congo River “I [Marlow] 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” . It clearly depicts how the natives as the inferior class are at the mercy of the capitalist class which is represented by director of the companies. According to Marlow, the Capitalist system, which generates social inequality, is nothing but “great demoralization of land” (Conrad 24). The rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer.