The researcher is determined to discuss how The Heart of Darkness reflects the paradoxes of imperialism in the late 19th century. This assignment explored how Joseph Conrad viewed imperialism and commented on how the paradoxes of imperialism are recounted through the eyes of Marlowe and Kurtz. …
The paper tells that “The Heart of Darkness” is definitely one of Joseph Conrad’s better known literary works. Hailed as a classic, the novella was first published in 1899 as a three part series in Blackwood magazine, prior to its 1902 publication in book form. Concerned with the evils of colonization in general and of Africa in particular, it is a clear reflection of the politics and strife of the black man in the Belgian Congo of the 1890s. At first glance, Marlowe himself is amazed and excited by the breadth of opportunities and economic wealth that the colonization of Africa will bring, but he is appalled and disgusted by the treatment of the black man at the hands of the Europeans. He realizes that imperialism has many paradoxes and this is but one of them. It is commonly agreed that the character of Marlowe is a reflection of Conrad himself, who had gone to sea eight years earlier to serve as captain of a Congo steamer; however he fell sick and returned to Europe without sailing since his ship was under repair. Darkness to Marlowe (or Conrad) signifies death, despair, oppression and the sadder things in life. Through the novel we are introduced to darkness at three levels: the darkness of the Congolese wilderness, the darkness of the European’s ill-treatment of the natives, and the darkness that is the capacity for evil and cruelty that inherently resides in the heart of every man. Even the narrative of the story itself is set in a time frame from dusk to dawn and through the dark night, further elucidating the author’s purpose. ...
Marlowe compares the European domination and colonization of the Congolese natives to the way in which the Romans dominated and colonized the savage English many centuries ago. Conrad himself was unsure whether imperialism and colonization was a boon or a curse- at best he saw it as a double edged sword. Thus in commenting to his Polish cousin on the Boer War he applauds the effort of the black man to free themselves from the yoke of imperialism, yet he agrees that nowhere better can the fruits of democracy be enjoyed than under the British flag. Conrad regarded the British as being less harsh than the Germans or the Belgians- however he laments that revolts and uprisings against the British colonizers were increasingly occurring in different parts of the world. As Marlowe travels from the Outer Station to the Central Station and finally to the Inner Station, he encounters scenes of cruelty, torture and near slavery. The fact that Kurtz has convinced some of the natives to worship him as a God can also be likened to the imperialists forcing the colonized to obey and follow their every command. Kurtz has put natives on the job to do his bidding while he relaxes and enjoys life as a God. Much the same can be said about imperialist policies-whatever wealth they looted and plundered they took back to their homes and households in the name of their rulers. So Kurtz can be compared to the imperialist regime and ideals- he is ruthless and conniving while powerful and unrepentant as well-quite the picture of imperialism as its worst. Even in the moment of his death, as Kurtz blurts out ‘the horror, the horror’ (Conrad, 73) we can see that Marlowe clearly regards it as Kurtz’s reflection of his life and the terrible ...
Cite this document
(“How The Heart of Darkness Reflects the Paradoxes of Imperialism in the Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/literature/36922-how-the-heart-of-darkness-reflects-the-paradoxes-of-imperialism-in-the-19th-century
(How The Heart of Darkness Reflects the Paradoxes of Imperialism in the Essay)
“How The Heart of Darkness Reflects the Paradoxes of Imperialism in the Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/literature/36922-how-the-heart-of-darkness-reflects-the-paradoxes-of-imperialism-in-the-19th-century.
For instance, Bagehot relates that groups of people conquering other groups of people is merely the principle of “survival of the fittest” and that the dominant group’s gains in war benefit all of society in the big picture. He illustrates that in conquering another group, the one group possesses something of importance that the other one doesn’t have.
Published in the year 1902 and written by Joseph Conrad, the book explores the dark face of the European colonization. This darkness is exposed through the encounter of the protagonist of the novel, Marlow, who passes through this darkness while going through the wilderness of Congo basin, being the witness of the cruel treatment by the Europeans inflicted upon the natives of Africa and by perceiving the immeasurable darkness present within every individual that instigates them to execute the most immoral acts of heinous evil.
Conrad wrote this novel in 1890s during the time when European placed the darkest sites of the world under their control. Europeans scrambled and stretched their powers outside their continent to far parts of Africa. This novel provides an account of European imperial activities in Congo.
Thus, it seems that Joseph Conrad’s work gives the readers a chance to identify how European ideals are darker than the African ones as the work is, in some way, a comparison of both. The novella takes place in Congo. The work is in the form of a narration by Marlow from a barge on Thames.
He searched for Kurtz and encountered a man who took him to a realization that he never expected. The novel depicts imperialism in complex ways. Perhaps the clearest illustration of imperialism was when Marlow reached the outer station. Surrounded by slave workers, with large holes filled with broken machines around him, he said that “imperialism is really composed of the bodies he had seen”.
In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad skilfully exposes the moral conundrum of imperialism. This essay discusses how Heart of Darkness reflects the paradoxes of imperialism in the late nineteenth century. Conrad describes the paradox of imperialism that arises from its contradictions in aims and outcomes, where it dehumanises colonisers, the colonised, and Western human civilisation.
Marlow initially sees Kurtz as a mad man. He realizes that when in the presence of boundless temptations, any man could go a little mad. He sees the very extremes of madness in Kurtz, the man who couldn't hold on to his soul when a chance for its corruption presented itself.
We could see that women have played important role in literature from the ancient Greek to the modern classical literature which gave female characters much more substance and purpose. Women were very important to the Greek, and through female characters in his epic, "The Odyssey," Homer shows us the different ways women were viewed by Greek.