Racism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Heart of Darkness follows around Marlow and his journey to the African Jungle in search of Mr. Kurtz to bring him back to England. Marlow eventually finds Mr. Kurtz and witnesses the how he exploits them due to the fact that they worship him; Mr. Kurtz dies on the trip back. Conrad’s language throughout the novel is extremely descriptive of the natural landscape of the new land he is traveling around and within the description of the new land, he is witnessing he also describes the people that live there. Conrad’s descriptions of the Africans has become one of the most discussed conversations surrounding his novella.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, although published at the tail end of the 19th century one of the novella’s that has remained …show more content…

In this essay he notoriously says, “ … Joseph Conrad was a thoroughgoing racist. That this simple truth is glossed over in criticisms of his work is due to the fact that white racism against Africa is such a normal way of thinking that its manifestations go completely unremarked.” (Achebe 343). Achebe’s prominent essay that blatantly describes Conrad’s depictions of the African people in the novella as racist. From this essay forward it seems that the academic discussion has continued and academics still argue to this day whether Conrad’s descriptions are overtly racist or is that these descriptions are merely representative of the time that it was written. In another important essay response to Heart of Darkness Edward Said not only discusses the novella but responds to Achebe’s essay challenging whether or not Conrad’s words represent overt racism as Achebe states. Said claims that when writing about the natives and their incapability of independence is due to Conrad’s lack of view of the alternatives to imperialism; Conrad did not live to see what happens when imperialism came to an end (essay guy). Conrad allows readers today to see an Africa that is not made up of dozens of European colonies, even if he himself might have had a very limited idea of what Africa was like (Said

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