Summary of the text: Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa is a historical fiction published in 1998 (Hochschild, 1998). It comprises a myriad of evidence to testify the Belgian King Leopold II’s atrocities in Congo between 1885 and 1908 for the sake of capturing the attention of various readers towards the Belgian imperialist delinquencies through a detailed narration of a number of main characters’, including George Washington Williams and William Henry Sheppard, experiences in Belgian Congo (Hochschild, 1998). In this excerpt, it illustrates William’s peaceful exploration in Congo as the first American-Black missionary. During his journey, not only did he explore the Congolese culture,
Therefore, both the colonization of Congo and their regression contributed to the changes made in the Congolese lifestyle and their economy which particularly arose through the vast labour camp set by the king, Belgians brainwashing the Congolese, and Congo’s regression after their independence. King Leopold II saw Congo as his economic colony where he used fear and torture to produce large amounts of rubber and a large supply of minerals. He converted Congo into a vast labour camp to keep up with the world’s high demands for rubber. Victims including explorers and missionaries all insisted for the King to stop. There were even calls for King Leopold II to be hanged at the New International Court of
Through Marlow’s journey up the Congo and into the heart of darkness, the horrifying tools of colonialism are laid bare and the true purpose of colonialism and the European capitalist approach is exposed. Conrad is here not only exposing the hollowness and the weakness of the Belgian imperialist rule over the Congo, but also indirectly reminding us of British imperialism in various countries of the world of his time. Today white imperialism has crumbled and most of the countries of Asia and Africa have become independent. But in Conrad’s time all the African countries were still a part of the Dark Continent, and most of the Asian countries were being governed by their white rulers. Therefore, his picture of imperialist misrule and callousness in the backward countries had in those days an undeniable relevance.
Imperialism is a meaningful word all throughout history, and many people would say that imperialism is what molded a country either from its rights or wrong viewed today. One of the reasons that world literature and history is learned is so we learn from our past to better ourselves in the future. The book The Heart of Darkness tells a unique story about the different ways imperialism is shown on the other side of the world meaning it doesn’t just happen in one place it happens everywhere in different time periods. The protagonist character Marlow tells his story that takes place in The Congo which is in Africa, and while reading the story of Marlow imperialism is shown so much that as readers can reflect to other examples in history. For instance,
Characters: Marlow: The main character, Marlow, is storying telling voyages into the Congo to seek Kurtz to understand himself, and the skeptical effects of imperialism. He comes to learn the dark side of human nature through his journeys to the Congo. Mr. Kurtz: Kurtz is a mysterious character whom we learn about primarily
How do the ideas of main characters change and how their justification develops throughout the story, in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky In this essay I will be exploring the changing of the ideas of main characters in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and the development of their justification throughout the story. Heart of Darkness is a philosophical adventure novel written by a famous English writer Joseph Conrad, it was published in 1902. The novel is a narrative journal of a sailor that travels up the river of Congo as a captain of a commercial vessel. Heart of Darkness is an extraordinary novel and it has overstepped the framework of its genre. Heart of Darkness portrays the fearsome and psychologically sophisticated story of the struggle between civilization and the wild untamed nature.
This, however, is not an observation that would have been made previous to the voyage. This comparison of the colonizers to robbers and murderers is based off of his experience in the Congo, where the idea of do-gooders was disproved and replaced with a much harsher truth of the European colonizer’s selfishness and corrupt
Throughout Heart of Darkness, the Lord of the Flies, Hollow Men, and Demian, there seemed to be a pattern of showing morality and the battle between good versus evil in each person. In the Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad transcends the deep, dark African jungle in order to illuminate the true nature of humanity’s heart, filled with the darkness of obsession, corruption, and evil. The story itself follows the protagonist, Marlow, as well as Kurtz, a secretive, mysterious man who resides in the heart of Congo and furthermore represents humanity itself and its evils. Through the savagery seen through the setting with its inhabitants and the primal darkness each human heart contains, Conrad draws a cruel world, possessing horror. As Marlow travels through Africa, the place European strived to
For centuries, Imperialism has affected many societies around the world. In the sixteenth century, the British Empire colonized places such as Burma, India. In George Orwell’s essay, “Shooting an Elephant”, he gives a first person account of imperialism. His retrospective story entails a moral dilemma he faced as a British police officer in Burma. Orwell uses the themes of imperial representation resentment to demonstrate the true nature of imperial colonialism and its effects on both the victims and prosecutors.
George Washington Williams, an African American legislator, and Kande Kamara, an African colonial subject, both experienced some of the most brutal products of European Imperialism. Williams, in the late nineteenth century, toured the Belgian controlled Congo and witnessed the harsh measures King Leopold implemented to maintain absolute control and bleed the country of its resources. Kamara, on the other hand, bore witness to the end result of overzealous imperial ambitions when he was forced to fight for the allies in the trenches of WWI. These two men’s experiences, although considerably different, both shed light on Europe’s colonial philosophy of racism and ethnic superiority and its position of immense power during this period. Both
In 1998, Kingsolver published The Poisonwood Bible. The Poisonwood Bible was born from Kingsolver’s long standing fascination with politics, culpability, and her firm belief that what happened in the Congo in 1961 is one of the most significant political conflicts of the 1900’s. Kingsolver wanted to remind the world that every industrialized country, despite their constant denial, has reached their current success through doing horrific deeds to smaller, less fortunate countries by using the Price’s experience in the Congo as an
David Walker acknowledged that slavery had long been practiced in Africa, but he charged white Christian slaveholders with greater crimes against humanity and greater hypocrisy in justifying those crimes than any prior slave system had been guilty of. Twentieth century scholarship has lent much support to the contentions of Walker’s and others in the African American antislavery vanguard that slavery as perpetrated by the European colonizers of Africa and the Americas brought man’s inhumanity to man to a level of technological efficiency unimagined by previous generations. When Portuguese mariners began trading gold, ivory, and spices with the chieftains of the coast of West Africa in the mid-fifteenth century, they discovered that African prisoners of war and their children could be readily supplied for sale as slaves. The slave trade
The pernicious act of severing and compiling hands also signified verification of the army’s efforts to halt any rebellious activity that may disrupt order. The army’s terrorization and brutality of adult and children, coupled with the infestation of European disease, exponentially decreased the Congo Free State’s population by millions. While these horrific events ensued in King Leopold II’s private colony, he aggregated a substantial amount of profit. With his expansive earnings, King Leopold II did not contribute a dime toward the natives that performed the grueling work; rather, he built extravagant buildings in Belgium for his own personal luxury. Author David Kenneth (n.d.) states that, “Leopold enacted laws preventing European traders from paying Africans currency in exchange for rubber” ensuring that the Africans became a poor, sick, and uneducated population (Resource Extraction section, para.