Summary And Symbolism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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“Send forth the worst ye breed,
And bind our sons in shackles
To serve your selfish greed”. (2-4)

For Harrison, the coming of the White man into Africa to ‘liberate’ Africans was deceitful and had an ulterior motive of exploitation and selfish gain. This same thinking was expressed by Henry Parks in, Africa: The Problem of the New Century, where he advocated for blacks in diaspora to colonise Africa. He contended that European “scramble for Africa would blight the continent with liquor, vice, and genocide” ( qtd. in Mitchell 1). Which was a source of worry to him regarding the eventual corruption of the “native simplicity” of Africa (Mitchell 2).

Furthermore, Harrison disagrees with Kipling by symbolising the very tool used by the Europeans
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Johnson in 1898, she states “Johnson maintained European ascendancy in Africa ominously signaled that whites would soon subjugate blacks across the continent” (Mitchelle 2). And demonstrated in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness by the character Kurtz, whose documents contained a message “Exterminate all the brutes” (Conrad 63). Which supports the killing of Congolese who tried to resist the highhandedness of the Imperial company.

Also, Harrison’s poem alluded to the construction of the kings and chiefs in Africa as subjects to the European dictates and whose powers are no more binding to his people but to the imperial power superimposed on them all because of the Eurocentric perception of having a burden to make the ‘other’ be like or defined to the standard set. This is a process of othering which supports the idea of subjugation and mastering of the inferior. And in most cases, might take a violent approach in an effort to define the ‘other’ as subjects and the empire/colonial government itself as the superior and lord over those it colonises and intend to ‘liberate’. Moreover, this form of imposition through checkmating anything the colonised see as a form of identity as portrayed in “And check our racial pride;” (12) can include language suppression as Macaulay suggested in his book, Minutes,
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And in the process of identity creation is what Spivak and other postcolonialists see as othering. For the poems of Rudyard Kipling, two distinct identities were created. The problem solver, the guardian and the grown man who have decided in “White Man’s Burden” of Kipling to do away “ ... with childish days-” (50) and joined the imperialist club” who shouldn’t forget the divine duty of bringing the those not in the law into the law as experienced in “Recessional, A Victorian Ode”. Whereas, the ‘other ' occupies the inferior position-people filled with sadness, are devil-like, and not worthy humans whose road to a better life are to be determined and are the mercy of the Sacrificial ‘Other’ by divine appointment from God are required to assist the “sullen people” to become a happy people. But this form the negative construction of the ‘other ' is what anti-imperialists of the Victorian era saw as a gradual degradation of the "Native simplicity" (Mitchell 2) of Africans and others. For Harrison in his poem, the construction of the ‘other ' was a way to exploit the naivety of the ‘other’ and subdue them for the economic gain of the ‘Other’. For the poem, the negative construction shouldn’t be for the ‘other’ but for the ‘Other’. And if really the imperialism was about genuinely assisting the ‘others’ then it should
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