Then, what themes does the whole book talk about? Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness considers both the themes of the social injustice produced by imperialism and effects of living conditions on a man in a religious way, in which James 1:13-15 in the Bible supports. In the 1890s, Belgian imperialism has caused a serious social injustice problem in the Congo Free State. During the time period, the Congo has been merely a private possession of King Leopold II of Belgium. There has been an extreme contrast between the state of Congo natives and that of European colonists; colonizers have enjoyed wealth from the labor of natives, whom they have forced to work for the sovereign Leopold and left when suffering from malnutrition and health problems.
Conrad’s description of these people shows them as deranged, frenzied, and intense feverish savages, not an image any modern day western writer would dare to warm up to. Nor could his English speaking readers understand the natives to be nothing but animate beasts and fascinating embodiments of sorrow. Joseph Conrad continues to reveal the ignorance of white men towards the African continent, as he depicts Africans as though they are “the other”, not to be considered as civilized human counterparts, but rather as brutes ready to be enslaved for a “better” cause. The impaired ideology of men and women alike agreed on this representation of the black race, yet they are heedless towards their certainly horrifying capacity to brutally yet ineffectively ameliorate an entire
They achieve this through different contexts and experiences but the similar idea that all colonialism leads to the destruction of a civilisation in which the natives continue to carry the marks of history. Sometimes in April portrays the ongoing destructive presence of colonisation in Rwanda through challenging and expanding on the colonial narratives of racial superiority and identity. For centuries before the colonisation of Rwanda, its natives were all united and shared the same land, culture, religion. However Belgium colonisers imposed racial classification and exploitation between the two dominant tribes; Tutsis and Hutus. Hutus were treated as slaves which created deep resentment that fuelled the Rwandan genocide (United Nations, 2018).
The natives were treated like an animal and they were dumped inside the pit to die and were also chained like criminals. The phrase “Anything-anything can be done in this country” (Conrad, 2001, p.52) shows how the Colonizers exploited the land of the natives and killed them without mercy because there is no law which would control the colonist’s dark heart. Darkness signifies the corrupted minds of the Europeans in the name of civilization. “Civilization is a mask used to hide the truth” (Example essays, 2002) which means, the Europeans invaded Africa by telling the natives they came to civilize the country but in reality they came to Africa mainly to extract ivory from the natives. Civilization is the mirror to human nature because we can seeour physical appearance when we look in the mirror and civilization also shows how cultured and developed we are, but like mirror it does not
They became hostile toward them. In Jules Ferry’s speech (document 4), he talks about how the Europeans were the superior race and it was their duty to civilize the inferior races. This took place during the time of the Berlin Conference, when many European states tried to take power over most of Africa. Wilhelm Schallmayer (document 6) was a physician who wrote about how competition was driving out many of the native races, all where the Europeans had colonized and provided such competition. The purpose of him writing this essay was to show how the contrast in civilization was hurting the natives and was causing them to decline.
According to The Casement Report, a report that documented all the violent actions that King Leopold took on the people of Africa, an example of a brutal action that the Belgium people took was “ A widow came and declared that she had been forced to sell her daughter, a little girl about ten.... I found on returning that the statements made with regard to the girl were true.... The girls had again changed hands and was promised in sale to a town whose people are open cannibals.” These cruel actions taken upon the people of Africa was inhumane, and definitely not humanitarian. King Leopold publicized these incidents to the rest of the world so that he can gain their fear, and everyone would listen to him through terror. In the long run, he would be gaining power, even though the actions that he took to achieve that power was
Achebe labels Conrad as “a thoroughgoing racist” (Achebe, 1977) because of his insulting descriptions of native Africans. Perhaps Achebe focused too much on Conrad’s description of native Africans that he failed to see the bigger picture – Conrad’s message about imperialism. Through Marlow, the readers get to vicariously experience witnessing the harsh conditions of the native Africans under the control of Europeans. Marlow saw “black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees leaning against the trunks, clinging to the earth” (Conrad & Walker, 1981, p. 25) as the Europeans in that area fire on a camp of natives. This appalled Marlow; he does not approve of European presence in Africa.
Group A, Question 1 The imperialistic mindset of racial superiority and its justification of unspeakable brutality were a defining feature of the interactions that the European had when facing non-Europeans. The Europeans’ mentality of expansion and the use of a good vs evil mentality really defined the way in which the Europeans interacted and exploited people. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness he delves into the imperialism and the issues surrounding it. On his travel to the Central Station, Marlow encounters all types of atrocities from torture up to slavery. The book depicts a very dim picture on the subject of imperialism.
The ideology of imperialism revolves around the need for economic gain through any means necessary. However, Conrad tries to show that the very ideology itself is detrimental to a person’s mental health throughout the first chapter of Heart of Darkness. A key example of this is the scene with the doctor at the beginning of the chapter, the doctor who is examining Marlow states that “changes take place inside” people that go to places like Africa. The doctor could be implying that individual change when they go places like Africa because of the influence of imperialism. In places like Africa an individual must adapt to the imperialistic ideology, which revolves primarily around the gain of profit.
he said curtly” (Conrad 56). This of course just reinforces the idea that black people are bloodthirsty and man-eating savages. The second one is “ 'Mistah Kurtz- he dead. '” said by “the manager’s boy” (Conrad 87). Güven claims that “their silence can be interpreted as silent defiance against the European colonialism” (86), but he ignores the fact that Conrad – a European, a white man – made them silent.