It could be how the Europeans are attempting to civilize Africans, but are actually becoming “savages” themselves. It could also possibly be how Conrad viewed the continent of Africa, especially the Congo; as some primitive world that needs rescuing. Finally it could be the object in people, or “The Horror”, that is let loose in an environment that nurtures the dark, evil nature of all people. Said, in his essay, “Two Visions in Heart of Darkness”, shows how key features of the imperialist approach in the Congo unite in Heart of Darkness. According to Said, Heart of Darkness symbolizes Conrad’s own political beliefs about imperialism.
TO WHAT EXTEND SO YOU THINK THAT CONRAD IN THE “HEART OF DARKNESS” IS VICTIM OF THE VERY COLONIALIST ATTITUDES HE CONDEMNS? The description of the heart of the darkness is easy to see like an attack of the colonialism and the brutal form that the colonialism took the Belgian Congo. From this point of view we must consider the book and you will be led to the details which represent the abuse of the Africans, the insatiability of the so-called "pilgrims”, and so on. The Marlow’s opinion about the colonialism is completely destroyed; when Marlow actually meets Kurtz, and realizes that; far from conquering the darkness, Kurtz himself has been conquered by the darkness. From Marlow’s point of view the colonization is: "Robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as it is very proper for those who tackle darkness."
Marlo Posadas Rodolfich AP English IV, 3rd 7 Mar 2012 Imperialism and Race in Heart of Darkness In the late nineteenth century, European trade companies had penetrated deep into the heart of Africa, establishing outposts for trade while claiming to aid the local African tribes by enlisting them for employment. However, those companies define ‘employment’ differently for those blacks than for their white workers. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness the racial contrast between Europe’s “white gods” and Africa’s black “brutes” fuels the machinery of European imperialism. This quest to civilize Africa ironically portrays Europe’s savagery in its attempt to bring light into the darkness. The arm of the Company that hires Marlow in Heart of Darkness reaches deep within the jungles of Africa, colonizing the natives of the land and trying to develop the uncivilized world.
Hunt Hawkins believes that Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was an anti-imperialism novel, as opposed to what some may believe while reading the novel; an example would be Chinua Achebe, who believes the novel to be racist and de-humanizing. Imperialism in Africa was evident in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the affects of it was not only political, but also social, psychological, and spiritual. This essay will show a critical deconstruction on imperialism and Conrad’s work. Background In order to understand the point of this essay, one would need to understand what deconstruction is as well as imperialism. Deconstruction, according to Jacques Derrida, started in late 1960s France and “upends the Western metaphysical tradition.
In this novelette Conrad bravely exposes the horror at the heart of Europe, the absurdity of Europe’s civilizing quest in Africa, and perhaps prophetically points to the rise and eventual fall of the European Superman, Neitzche’s man with the will to power, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler. The tale is told by a European, not one whom History might show as pathologically averse to genuine self-analysis when it comes to foreign atrocity, but by a character who is looking inward, morally and spiritually at Europe, an Eastern embodiment, a Buddha figure. The novelette starts at the entrance to the Thames, an almost mythic place, as Conrad notes. This estuary had “known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis Drake to Sir John Franklin, knights all, titled and untitled – the great knights-errant of the sea. It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the Golden Hind returning with the round flanks full of treasure… The dreams of men the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires.” But this eulogistic optimism is countered by a pessimistic note by
Creatures of the Dark Chinua Achebe is highly critical of Joseph Conrad and his novel, Heart of Darkness, because he believes it to deprave Africans of their humanity entirely, leave them without a voice, and, as he states in his essay, “An Image of Africa”, use them as mere “props for the break-up of one petty European mind [Mr Kurtz]”. In response to Conrad’s text, Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart which he intended to act as a counter-argument to Heart of Darkness. He tells the story of an Ibo village in Nigeria with daily routines, families, rules, and rituals that hold significant meaning within the culture. I agree with Achebe that these sufficiently fulfill the criteria for a truly human community, and I would even go so far as to call the village as “civilized” as any European city. Despite arguments that Conrad’s use of multiple narrative frames helps to remove bias against Africans and allows the reader to use their own moral compass to come to conclusions, racism is still an eminent feature.
It will also explain why Achebe might feel so strongly against Conrad. He is after all fighting for a strong African identity after the colonies gained their independence. Said defends and contextualizes Conrad as a creature of his time. Finally, the essay will discuss and contrast the critics, concluding that each critique is highly influenced by the time-period in which it was written. 2 CRITICAL RESPONSES TO JOSEPH CONRAD’S HEART OF DARKNESS ............ 1 Abstract: ..................................................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction: .............................................................................................................................................. 4 Critical responses:
The purpose of writing such a primary account would be so that it can better notify the Europeans who are going to visit Africa so that they can better adapt to the foreign culture, and enlighten the Europeans on how the other side of the world is living while boasting on how the European culture is far more advanced. Bosman begins the report in a shocking manner where he identifies the Negroes, or the Africans, as “crafty, villa[i]nous and fraudulent, and very seldom to be trusted.” Even though it is understandable of how in the eyes of a European who usually look down upon the Africans as uncivilized and crude human beings, Bosman continuously makes critical remarks on Africans on Gold Coast as the Dutchman touches upon and criticizes on many subjects and cultures of Africa. From the cruel system of slavery and social levels to food and daily eating habits of Africans, Bosman tries to reveal vast information about African life to inform the general public in
In the novel, Wright constructs white racism as shaming, condescending, condemning, dominating and dehumanizing as a way of critiquing white racist mentality and its effects on the black race. This is shown in Bigger‘s encounters with Mr. Dalton, Mary and Jan, Buckley, the media and Boris Max. By setting up the racist constructions, showing their consequences and illustrating how these constructions can be transcended, Wright depicts a multilayered view of racism in America. Wright uses the character of Mr. Dalton to construct white racism as shaming. One way this is manifested in the novel is through the white gaze.
THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE IN AFRICAN LITERATURE & WORLDVIEW "Is it right that a man should abandon his mother tongue for someone else's? It looks like a dreadful betrayal and produces a guilty feeling. But for me there is no other choice. I have been given the language and I intend to use it." -Chinua Achebe, Author of Things Fall Apart.