Essay on Hearts of Darkness: Post Colonialism

850 Words4 Pages
Write a critique of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, based on your reading about post-colonialism and discussing Conrad's view of African culture as "other." What would someone from Africa think about this work? "Heart of Darkness" starts out in London and also ends there as well. Most of the story takes place in the Congo which is now known as the Republic of the Congo. Heart of Darkness was essentially a transitional novel between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During the nineteenth century certain concepts in the story were considered unthinkable such as cannibalism. The cultural relativism (which basically says that right and wrong are culture-specific) was a strong sensibility during the nineteenth century which is…show more content…
However, he still managed to reap more reward, in the shape of ivory. Marlow's opinion of Imperialism is altered several times based on his experiences with witnessing the lengths the Imperialists would go for profit. When Marlow meets Kurtz he realizes that Kurtz himself has been conquered by the darkness and this changes his opinion regarding Imperialism. The roles of Kurtz's fiance and his African mistress are significant characters in the story. The Europeans don't realize that Kurtz lives a life of sin and consider him to be pure which contrasts with Marlow's knowledge of his corruption. Conrad builds Kurtz's fiance up to symbolize the lack of presence of the British from the events in Africa. She is distraught about Kurtz's death and ponders what might have been, had Kurtz not died. Kurtz's 'mistress' does not appear to be grief-stricken, but is not happy as she is the only native still standing after Marlow sounded the steamer's whistle. Kurtz's fiance's claimed she knew him best, but this was just an illusion as she was not aware of the sinful life he lived. The memory she has of Kurtz is a lie; since Marlow did not tell her the truth. The women in Hearts of Darkness have two sets of characteristics. First, they have the accepted Victorian values and then they have the post-colonial values. The Victorian reading would portray Kurtz's fiance as feminine, beautiful, saintly and mourns Kurtz for a long
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