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Imperialism and civilization in Heart od Darkness - Essay Example

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“Heart of Darkness” is a novella by Joseph Conrad that centers round the motif of alienation, pervasive darkness and a discourse of power civilization with a strong agenda of imperialism. The eternal battle of evil and dark constitutes the novella. “Heart of Darkness”,…
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Imperialism and civilization in Heart od Darkness

The interplay of themes also allows layers of interpretation for the novella and launches it to different realm and dimensions.
Since early 1960’s political reading of the novella has considerably increased and this started with the explicate use of extracts and direct implementations by T.S. Eliot for his famous poem “The Hollow Men”. T.S. Eliot uses direct phrases from “Heart of Darkness”, “Mistah Kurtz, he dead”. This epigraph was originally used in the real manuscript of the poem. The implementation of this phrase in the poem, “The Hollow Men”, strikes a contrast with the dark horror and a presumed “light of civilization”. It hinted an ambiguity from both the planes that comprises of dark motives concerned with civilization as well as the freedom from barbarism. Theses two areas of serious delineation are well blended with the “spiritual darkness” of several characters and their symbolic interpretation which is operating within the novel.
“Heart of Darkness” explores and comments intricately on the ideology of imperialism. Marlow’s reference to the actions of Romans at the very outset of the novel is a comparative analysis of the actions those explore Africa in the novel, more precisely in the Congo River. The political reading of the text launches its readers to a satiric presentation displayed through greed and ignorance of the European continent towards its colonies. Marlow indicates that the efforts of British colonial rule were much superior to any other country of the world. This is displayed more particularly through Belgian’s colonial activities and attitudes. The symbolic interpretation of the characters, setting and images too launches the novel into a different perspective. The interplay of light and dark representing good and evil respectively, operates within human lives since the initiation of life on this earth. Symbolic contrast between the mark of imperialism represented by the Thames River on one ... Read More
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