Native Americans In Heart Of Darkness

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In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Marlow is affronted by a new group of people. He’s told that nothing is the same in Africa but he doesn’t listen and follows his heart, need of a job, instead. Resulting in his first encounter with the native people, an overall appalling experience, after taking a Swede captained steamboat to the continent. However the native aren’t what appalls him, but their treatment instead. The first natives he comes into close contact with are the “chain-gang” (23). They were six natives chained together by the collars on their necks with their ribs and joints on display through the skin (23). The bodily state of these men is a clear sign of malnourishment and an image that is most striking to Marlow. So much so …show more content…

Granted he hasn’t even been there a full day (22). This is definitely not enough time to become numb to one’s surroundings. He genuinely doesn’t understand why the natives were treated this way, especially since the companies were telling the European public that they were civilizing them. Another reason is that he sees them as people, not savages, and is kind of interested in them. When describing the native with the white worsted around his neck, he refers to him as a man. A man, not savage, criminal, or enemy, he’s not looking down on them he considers them his equal in this moment. Then there’s his curiosity about why the worsted is around the man’s neck to begin with. He’s not chalking it up to just being natives. He actually wants to know why the worsted is there. Lastly he doesn’t glorify what he sees. Instead he says that he would become “acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil or rapacious and pitiless folly” (24). Meaning that he expects to discover just how horrid all the greedy, hazardous and merciless actions of the white men really are. He doesn’t believe their treatment is going to get any better, probably even

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