The Treatment of Natives and Europeans in Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart Of Darkness (1899), the narrator, Marlow describes his experience of a trip to the Belgian Congo. The novella has often been the subject of study with regards to its attitude towards imperialism and colonialism. It enjoys an important position in the postcolonial era, with some critics heralding it as an anti-imperialist novella that challenged its contemporary period's attitude towards imperialism. Thus, it also becomes interesting to analyse the attitude towards the colonised subject. This paper attempts to analyse the author's treatment of the natives and Europeans in Heart of Darkness, and to determine whether the
Hunt Hawkins presents the controversy that Joseph Conrad’s, Heart of Darkness, encounters, as its contents portray Africans as dehumanizing, savage, and uncivilized beings. In order to provide a sufficient amount of information with regards to the controversy, Hawkins introduces the analysis of distinct scholars to describe racism, imperialism, and human nature. As a result, an analysis of the characters are provided to the audience and allow an individual to understand why Conrad decided to write Heart of Darkness the way he did. Thus, during this process, Hawkins describes the manifestation of the darkness that eventually consumes Kurtz.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a story that centers around Marlow, an introverted sailor, and his treacherous journey up the Congo River in search of a man name Kurtz. Unfamiliar with the terrain and natives, Marlow faced many different obstacles that made his journey even more tough. Obstacles like the Congo River and the dense jungles that surround it not only limited the crew progress, but also aroused confusion as well. Joseph Conrad amazing use of descriptive wording and imagery help the readers understand why their surrounding was giving them uneasiness throughout their expedition to meet up with Kurtz. The readers can understand why nature was truly an adversary to Marlow and his crew.
Ignorance of another's personal values or situation results in an impassable schism between the two parties. People fail to understand each other, and as such, they regard each other in lower lights. In “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad, through Marlow, writes his novella through a lense of ignorance and the perspective of the typical white person of the time in order to relate his story to the reader. Marlow and the accountant are contrasted with Kurtz to display the effects of evil on an individual.
Often in literature, the physical journey the main character takes represents their psychological growth. In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Marlow’s journey into the heart of the Congo represents his progression into the darkest parts of his mind. As he travels deeper into the foreign terrain, he begins to question the world around him and himself. As Marlow begins his journey into the heart of Africa, he holds onto his idealistic belief in imperialism.
A single story can be dangerous for the simple fact that we miss the whole story. The one-sided view on life can lead to stereotypes and judgement of others. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is an example of this single story. This Polish-British writer is claimed to be a great author, with Heart of Darkness being his most popular work. In this novel he speaks through his main character Marlow about white settlers colonizing Africa, harming, exploiting and, portraying the natives in many inhumane ways. Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian author, found this work particularly racist and wrote a response to it, “An Image of Africa”. Through Achebe’s work, we realize Heart of Darkness contained a single story leaving naive readers with a single image of African natives.
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 through the main character, Marlow. Through the lens of New Criticism, 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.
By leading the readers to the main story by telling its backstory, Hochschild effectively supplements his argument of these effects of European imperialism. As Hochschild states briefly in the beginning sentences of the introduction, “The beginnings of this story lie far back in time, and its reverberations still sound today… a central incandescent moment, one that illuminates long decades before and after, is a flash of… moral recognition” (Hochschild 1). He maintains this claim throughout the story by recounting the devastating atrocities that only occurred because of the greedy proclivities of European empires in that time period. Although the book did not maintain a complete chronological order, Hochschild’s fundamental thesis was still manifestly supported and
In Heart of Darkness the idea of imperialism was under an immense pressure, and Kurtz exemplifies this idea with his initial beliefs when entering the Congo. Kurtz’s description of the situation as “an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence” is sharply contrasted by his statement to “exterminate all the brutes” in his report (Conrad 50-51). In Heart of Darkness, the western view of the Congo is drastically false; they believe that the natives are naive and savage. This idea, similar to that of the Americans, highlights the major differences in culture. The people of the Congo think that Kurtz is some sort of god even though he wants to eliminate them from their home.
Tryston Strickland Dr. Norwood Honors English IV March 8, 2018 The Flaw: Human Nature In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad shows human nature’s tendency toward callousness through the use of greed, imperialism, and darkness. Throughout the book the topics of greed, imperialism, and heartlessness give examples of the flaw that humans cannot fix. Humans tend to help others when there is a benefit for them to gain.
‘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 main character, Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s 1910 novel The Heart of Darkness begins his journey into Africa skeptical of what might occur, but naive to the true horrors that were in stake for the young man. Marlow’s detailed descriptions of the sights and torturous actions towards the natives he witnesses along his journey lead to many literary critics to deem Conrad a racist. One author notorious for calling Joseph Conrad out on his racist remarks is Chinua Achebe who gained fame from his article “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. Achebe’s article professes that almost everything within Conrad’s novel is an act of pure racism. This, however, is not the case, as Conrad was just telling the truth of what occurred within Africa during the time of European colonization. Hugh Curtler refutes Achebe’s statements in his literary criticism “Political Correctness and the Attack on Great Literature”. This article takes a practical viewpoint about the book and stresses the point that Conrad was trying to explain the events that occurred during his time in Africa in a style of writing for the people at the time. Literary critics like Achebe label Conrad as complete racist, however, he is, in fact, the complete opposite as he utilizes this story as a way to paint a picture of the cruel actions that occurred at the time.
BRIEF ANALYSIS The use of various literary devices in Joseph Conrad’s novel helps to bring his story to life, which ultimately is to his advantage. Conrad brings the reader into the darkness, displayed the corruptibility of humankind and left them pondering the absurdity of evil and imperialism. One of the strongest literary devices that Conrad uses to engage the reader in his novella is the use of imagery. However other important literary devices that are used throughout the novel as well as in the extract above is: similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing, and symbolism and narrative techniques.
In 1884 Berlin Conference was held to decide the future of Africa. They finalized to create free trade in the Congo region, free navigation and created rules to divide Africa among themselves. Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness during this period so, those historical backgrounds on colonization help to portray the theme of imperialism in this novel. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad portrays themes of imperialism in three different views through his main character Marlow. Therefore, this essay argues on how Heart of Darkness comment on Imperialism based on the power of the colonizers, the power of Mr. Kurtz and imperialistic view of Conrad over women.
Racism in Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Polish- British writer Joseph Conrad in 1899. Since it was written Heart of Darkness has been criticized as a colonial work. One of the critics who condemn Joseph Conrad and his work has been the Nigerian authors and critics Chinua Achebe in his work "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad 's 'Heart of Darkness". Achebe considers Conrad as “a thoroughgoing racist” (Achebe 5) for depicting Africa as "the other world" (Achebe 2). The aim of this study is to examine Heart of Darkness referring to the Achebe’s ideas in his 1977 essay.