The Theme Of Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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The keynote of the theme of Imperialism is struck at the very outset of Marlow’s narration, when Marlow talks of the ancient Roman conquest of Britain and says that the ancient Romans were conquerors who used force. They grabbed what they get and their conquest and their conquest of Britain was “robbery with violence”, which involved murder on a large scale. The conquest of another Country, says Marlow, mostly means taking away all things from those who have a different complexion or who have flatter noses than the conquerors have. Such a conquest is unpardonable. What Marlow wishes to say is that conquest can be Arora 5 excused only if the conquerors perform some constructive work in the backward country which they have conquered. Marlow…show more content…
In the story, the manager often talks of having someone hanged so that he will have no competition and able to advance his career. All that is important to him is the acquisition of money and power. To the Europeans it is imperative that they attain wealth, power and prestige. They simply care about what works for them and the betterment of their positions. Marlow describes the Brick- maker as a “paper-mache Mephistopheles” because of this man’s cunning. The Brick-maker here, makes no bricks rather, his function is to act as a spy for the…show more content…
Through Marlow’s journey up the Congo and into the heart of darkness, the horrifying tools of colonialism are laid bare and the true purpose of colonialism and the European capitalist approach is exposed. Conrad is here not only exposing the hollowness and the weakness of the Belgian imperialist rule over the Congo, but also indirectly reminding us of British imperialism in various countries of the world of his time. Today white imperialism has crumbled and most of the countries of Asia and Africa have become independent. But in Conrad’s time all the African countries were still a part of the Dark Continent, and most of the Asian countries were being governed by their white rulers. Therefore, his picture of imperialist misrule and callousness in the backward countries had in those days an undeniable relevance. Conrad’s denunciation of the imperialist rule in the Congo had a valuable message for both the exploiters and the
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