Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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The theme of Heart of Darkness is the conditions prevailing in the Congo under the imperialist rule of the Belgian King, Leopold II. These conditions include the impact of the white traders and explorers on the life of the African (or Congolese) savages, and the influence of the native way of life on the white men, with special reference to one man named Mr. Kurtz. In fact, Conrad’s novel ha several themes: the theme of self-restraint, theme of working of the sub-conscious mind of man, the theme of the exploration of a little-known Continent, the theme of the influence of barbarism and primitivism on a civilised man when he is cut off from civilised society and the obvious theme of the imperialist exploration of a backward country. Conrad’s treatment of the theme of white imperialism was influenced by his own visit to the Congo and his exploration of that dark country. His rendering of Marlow’s conscious and subconscious thoughts was also based upon his own reactions to what he had himself seen in the course of his voyage through the dark country of Congo in a streamer on the river Congo. The keynote of the theme of Imperialism is struck at the very outset of Marlow’s narration, when Marlow talks of the ancient Roman conquest of Britain and says that the ancient Romans were conquerors who used force. They grabbed what they get and their conquest and their conquest of Britain was “robbery with violence”, which involved murder on a large scale. The conquest of another Country,
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