Imperialism And Colonialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

Better Essays
Across many countries, authors have showcased how societal structures such as imperialism and colonialism can affect the way in which an individual experiences the world. Those born into the so-called “First World” countries have been privileged in that they have not felt the burden of such societal structure, as compared to those born into those “Second World” countries. These individuals have dealt with the pressures of Westernized society in such a way that their entire way of life has been transformed. Those whose countries hold values of imperialism and colonialism have only imposed their ways of life onto the “Second World” countries, whose citizens have lived in those shadows for centuries. These different worldviews can also impact…show more content…
As Kurtz’s title grows, he is able to work his way into the natives’ minds. He becomes their leader, even though he is an outsider. Little does Marlow know, Kurtz’s corruptness and his imperialistic and colonialist efforts to rule the African land would become his demise. In the end, Marlow understands that Kurtz is not all he is made out to be, and finds that his practices are harsher than necessary as he reads in Kurtz’s book his plans to “Exterminate all the brutes!” (50). Kurtz is referring to the natives he befriends and uses to his advantage. While Marlow and Kurtz move throughout the Congo as foreigners of a “First World” country, the Natives of the Congo are forces reconcile with Kurtz’s colonization and rule of their land and over their people. What Conrad presents in Heart of Darkness are the dangers of naiveté regarding “First World” practices of imperialism and colonialism, and then becoming aware, as Marlow gradually does, of their implications.
Secondly, in Wang Anyi’s short story, “The Destination,” Chen Xin experiences the changes in his home city, Shanghai, following a ten-year period of life in rural China. In returning home, Chen Xin embarks on a never-ending journey to find true happiness. As a young man, he volunteers himself to move to the countryside in order to avoid the repercussions of the Communist government. The Cultural Revolution,
Get Access