Heart Of Darkness Persuasive Essay

Decent Essays
Mikayla Mlady
Brandon Abood
World Literature
27 September 2016
Conrad or Marlow? There is a lot of controversy over the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Some people argue that when you read the book you are supposed to detach the main character Marlow from Conrad and others argue that Marlow and Conrad are connected. I argue the point that when you read the book you are supposed to connect Marlow's words to the author. Early on in the book Marlow refers to black men as shadows. “ … Nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation…” ( Conrad 84). This is saying that the men are not actual men, they are just shadows of a man. Basically saying that they aren’t full men because of the pigment of their skin. I don’t see how Conrad
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He says “ The earth seemed unearthly. We accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster… No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know that was the worst of it - this suspicion of their not being human.” Marlow is saying that it's almost scary to him that the black people are actually humans, that they are basically the same as white people except the pigment of their skin. It’s easier for Marlow to dehumanize them so that he feels less shame for the racist things he says or thinks. I think Conrad puts this quote into the book because it expresses how he really feels about black people. It seems as if when I read Marlow's thoughts and words I am actually reading Conrad's thoughts and words.
In the essay An image of Africa: Racism in heart of darkness by Chinua Achebe he also argues that Conrad is a racist by pointing out parts of Heart of Darkness. On the last page of his essay Achebe writes “ Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of the racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth.” I find this quote to coincide with the argument of my essay, this is an interesting thought because there is no doubt in my mind that conrad is racist but maybe he is painfully unaware of his own
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