“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”,…
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 ...
Cite this document
(“Imperialism and civilization in Heart od Darkness Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/miscellaneous/394981-imperialism-and-civilization-in-heart-od-darkness
(Imperialism and Civilization in Heart Od Darkness Essay)
“Imperialism and Civilization in Heart Od Darkness Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/miscellaneous/394981-imperialism-and-civilization-in-heart-od-darkness.
Shipments had stopped and they wanted to know why. As he struggles up the river in a broken down steamship, Marlow starts to gain a better appreciation for the realities of imperialism as compared to what it was thought to be back in London. To discuss these deep ideas, he tells the other sailors about them in terms of dark and light symbolizing 'civilized' as opposed to 'primitive' societies.
This study looks into “The Heart of Darkness”, one of the great literary criticisms of the process of imperial expansion in Africa. Yet Marlowe, the main character, is originally fascinated by imperialism and the possibilities that exploring Africa has to offer to a young man seeking his fortune and a name for himself.
The researcher states that the story “Heart of Darkness” is about: ‘Europeans performing acts of imperial mastery and will in (or about) Africa’. By this time business interests predominated over adventurous and exploratory interests in empire building. The imperialist world that Conrad narrates is sealed within its own circularity; it does not allow for any alternative views.
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.