Heart Of Darkness Corruption

Decent Essays
A darkness lurks in the tangled foliage and vines shrouding inland Africa. All the civilized world exists in but a bright flash of materialism and wealth, undercut by a looming darkness, a desire for wealth and power, and an inherent tendency towards gluttony and corruption. The darkness gnaws away at morality, stripping away the notion of right and encouraging mankind to subjugate those different from themselves in the interest of personal gain. Joseph Conrad, in his novella, “Heart of Darkness,” criticizes this corruption and subjugation of the lower class brought about by the imperial system, illustrating mankind’s inherent greed for dominance and its role in fostering atrocity and savagery.
Akin to that of the natives in the novella, Conrad’s
…show more content…
Kurtz is striving only for validation of self-worth through monetary gain. “'My ivory… My Intended, my station, my river, my --' everything belonged to him -- but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own,” recalls Marlow in reference to Kurtz. In this quotation Conrad delineates Kurtz’s exchange of morality for wealth in order to show that, through his selfish quest for fortune, he has become a slave to the corruption and greed present in the shadows of human tendency. Unlike Kurtz, other characters such as the General Manager, the Chief Accountant, and the Russian Trader remain nameless in order to emphasize the fact that their offices are more important than their personalities. This is an explicit criticism of the capitalist tendency to impersonalize the working lower class and evaluate the worth of individuals solely on their position in the social hierarchy. The intense draw of wealth idolized by the Europeans in Conrad’s novella is the very force that lures them blindly into
Get Access