Heart Of Darkness Imperialism Essay

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As humans, the need to extend one’s power and influence comes instinctively. In the novella, Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, Conrad illustrates man’s desire of imperialism through the compelling stories of Marlow--the insightful protagonist of the novella. Conrad introduces the setting as Marlow and four other friends sit in a ship in Thames as they await the turn of the tide. Thames was flooded, which foreshadows the destruction readers will become aware of as soon as Marlow begins to narrate almost the entire novella through his renowned storytelling. Throughout his storytelling, Marlow describes and highlights the destructive nature of imperialism as he recounts his journey up the Congo River to meet the glorified man known as Kurtz. …show more content…

As soon as the novella begins, the reader is introduced to a dark, cryptic setting. Usually, the sea, the shore, and the sky epitomize beauty and peace. Conrad, however, describes the shores of Thames as the complete opposite: murky and, therefore, unsettling. For example, Conrad utilizes various words to describe the shores and sea that correlate to darkness, such as “haze”, “dark”, “mournful gloom”, and “brooding”, to foreshadow the disastrous story based on imperialism that Marlow is about to unravel. When Marlow sails further down the Congo River, the horrors of imperialism are revealed. As he arrives at a station, Marlow is exposed to the starving, near-death natives for the first time; immediately, he begins explaining how awful imperialism is and his aversion for how insidious man can be-- himself included. Marlow then refers to imperialism and the men who contribute to it as a variety of devils that convey their destructiveness,“I’ve seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire...weak-eyed devil of rapacious and pitiless folly. How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out for several months later and a thousand miles farther” (82). Those several month and several

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