‘Heart of Darkness’ was written in 1899 by a Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, about the expedition up the Congo River in the Heart of Africa. This essay will mainly deal with the reference of the ‘darkness’ in the novel and it even deals with the theme which will further support the statement. The idea of ‘darkness’ in ‘Heart of Darkness’ represents evil or dark side of Humanity. It is also related to the idea of colonization, especially when it comes to the idea of mistreatments of people and misuse of natural resources. Throughout the novel, we see Conrad gives us idea about how deceiving one could be.
This greed grew strong and grew into the establishment of imperialism through the use of slavery. While the greed is still growing the English have know lost all of their moral value and have cast aside the meaning of life for the Natives of the Congo. This hunger of greed allowed the civilized to become the uncivilized “savages” they paint the Natives to be. Mr. Kurtz is the man that the english view as the idol in a way but dies seeing “The Horror”(154) of all the darkness the “light”(68) has made. Works Cited Qu, Caie.
Angelina Grimke, an abolitionist, summoned American fears of human enduring by stressing the horrendous partitions and physical torment persevered by every one of the slaves (Doc F). Numerous white Americans associated with the slaves' troublesome circumstances by perceiving the corruption of their condition and by reprimanding the extreme savagery they endured on account of their "lords." Besides, as shown by the way that Northern states, for example, New York and Pennsylvania accommodated the steady liberation of slaves (Doc A), northern industrialists and producers ,who did not rely on upon subjugation so vigorously as did the Southern estate agriculturists , contended against the uncertain duration of subjection, preparing for the lively abolitionists of the coming decades, a large portion of whom hailed from these Northern domains. This abolitionist bondage assessment was unmistakable from the frontier time frame, as the Quakers of the Pennsylvania province set up the primary abolitionist servitude association in the New World. The American Colonization Society, prevalently drove by working class white men, energized the arrival of dark Americans to Africa, asserting that "this portrayal of people are not, and can't be, either helpful or glad among us… there ought to be a separation.
The novel explores the damage that colonization does to white colonizers such as the character of Kurtz. The novel also raises the issue and impact of slavery on the natives. People are exploited so that the colonizers can build their riches. This is a predominant theme of colonization on a continent such as Africa, where individuals are vulnerable to the manipulation of the colonizers.
C.Achebe accused Joseph Conrad of being "a thoroughgoing racist" for depicting Africa as "the other world”, while other critics like E.Said defended him against this accusation.This debate led us to analyze the novella text and these critics reviews deeply to extract the writer’s Ideas toward the native Africans and their culture . In reviewing the novella we can see Marlow as an overwhelming character to show the western sight toward the natives. Achebe argues that the representation of Africans in Heart of Darkness was not satisfactory .In other words he expected a Great Artist like Conrad to be more benevolent toward the people who were colonized. He claims that Conrad propagated the "dominant image of Africa in the Western imagination" rather than portraying the continent in its true form (1793). Africans were portrayed in Conrad 's novel as savages with no language other than grunts and with no "other occupations besides merging
Slavery existed in Western Europe and in Africa, however, it was fundamentally different from the Americas, as it was not centered around the color of one’s skin and how one looked. The colonization of the New World was built upon the principles of European financial and cultural hegemony over the rest of the world; African enslavement was a necessity that would allow this grand plan to reach fruition. While the act of slavery itself is inhumane, racial slavery is truly wretched and devalued human life to such an extent that millions needlessly died in the European pursuit of wealth and power. Europeans simply categorized everyone in West Africa as the same, to justify slave trade, ignoring culture, customs, and differences between tribes. Even though, Africa was already developed, Europeans lied about them as savage backwards people when such a reality did not exist, “In complexity and prosperity, many African societies compared with those of Europe and Central America” (Clark, pg.
New Criticism View of Imperialism in Heart of Darkness In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the imperialism of Africa is described. Conrad tells the story of the cruel treatment of the natives and of the imperialism of the Congo region through the perspective of the main character, Marlow. Throughout the novel, Marlow describes how the Europeans continuously bestow poor treatment to the native people by enslaving them in their own territory. Analyzing the story with the New Criticism lens, it is evident that Conrad incorporates numerous literary devices in Heart of Darkness, including similes, imagery, personification, and antitheses to describe and exemplify the main idea of cruel imperialism in Africa discussed throughout the novella.
As cited in sevensson, 2010, P.8). However Conrad stated that his idea behind this novel was to show how the “criminality of inefficiency and pure selfishness of tackling of the civilizing work in Africa.” (ibd, 1902. As cited in sevensson, 2010, P.5). The character description of Mr. Kurtz, Mr. Marlow and the image of native portrayed in the novel “Heart Of Darkness” gives a negative criticism towards the colonizers in general. The first image seen in the novel that shows the criticism against colonizer is when the chief of the village was hammered with a stick by one of the white men; through this picture Conrad is criticizing the attitude of colonizer’s towards natives.
Heart of Darkness displays out of the norm actions, such as colonists dehumanizing the Africans, imperializing in complicated ways, and a character struggling with madness. Throughout the novella, the native Africans were dehumanized and referred to as something less than an object. It is understood that when exploring a different area of the world, things may be different from what an individual is accustomed to; however, it is ignorant to take out personal prejudices on innocent human beings. Sadly, dehumanization occurs a lot throughout the story when the white man, Marlow portrays the Africans in degrading ways. Marlow describes the Africans as “Black figures strolled about listlessly...the beaten nigger groaned somewhere” (Conrad 1969).
The poems Africa and Flying Man by Rabindranath Tagore show the negative effects of man-made destruction. The destruction is the way they have mistreated the people of Africa, as well as changing the way nature used to be, from the peaceful harmonious nature to inventing more modernised technologies, making man seem more arrogant. The focus of the two poems is how man has destroyed the earth with their actions, and the poet does this by using imagery and figurative language. In Africa, Tagore uses adjectives to emphasise the effect of man destroying Africa and its people. The word ‘shadowy’ creates a negative beginning to the stanza that introduces what is happening with the slavery, and it symbolises Africa turning into something dark, as the country used to be peaceful before the slavers came.