Heart Of Darkness Postcolonism Analysis

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The Treatment of Natives and Europeans in Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart Of Darkness (1899), the narrator, Marlow describes his experience of a trip to the Belgian Congo. The novella has often been the subject of study with regards to its attitude towards imperialism and colonialism. It enjoys an important position in the postcolonial era, with some critics heralding it as an anti-imperialist novella that challenged its contemporary period's attitude towards imperialism. Thus, it also becomes interesting to analyse the attitude towards the colonised subject. This paper attempts to analyse the author's treatment of the natives and Europeans in Heart of Darkness, and to determine whether the…show more content…
While one would do well to agree with Bruce Fleming when he says that Achebe's crticism is holding Conrad to 'timeless standards' or at least standards that are synonymous with the contemporary society, and thus incompatible, yet the complete sidestepping of the issue, that such a stance seemingly permits seems problematic at the very least. The understanding and the implications of the term 'racism' may not be the same between the two periods, still it cannot be treated as a 20th or mid 20th century concept altogether. A certain awareness of the subject can be discerned even in the preceding centuries whether in the late 16th C with Shakespeare's Othello, or the early 18th C with Jonathan Swift's Gullivers Travels, being a few examples. The danger with the anachronism defense can be observed in Bruce Fleming's statement that Conrad was not somehow peculiarly stupid for not having seen this in the previous century. It is not about standing out as peculiar. The danger lies in determining the validity/invalidity of a particular allegation on the basis of the number of people who partook in that particular activity. Just because Conrad has the safety of numbers, doesn't invalidate the charge against his treatment of the natives in the

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