Imperialism And Colonialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

Decent Essays
The title Heart of Darkness is not just for show, but directly reflects multiple concepts within the book itself. There are many controversial arguments as to if Conrad’s portrayal of the slaves and natives made him “racist”, and the more central question being, were his arguments about imperialism and colonialism valid? Based upon evidence given in the book and the reference of other sources, his arguments are valid. To illustrate, the story is about a sailor named Marlow traveling up the Congo River to meet another man named Kurtz. He arrives at his company and comes upon slaves who are forced to do labor for them. Marlow immediately realizes the contrast in treatment through his encounter with a guard who, “-seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity” (54). Later in his trip he also encounters natives, who prove to be hostile as they attack his boat and kill one of his members. Imperialism and colonialism are both vividly manifested through the European’s claim over Africa where they forced those who lived there, both Africans and Natives, to make way. Through the use of colonialism and imperialism with Africa as its main setting, the controversial topic of racism emerges from the appearance of slavery. The author, Joseph Conrad, being the person of interest. Notably, in an essay written by Ewa Kujawska, he discusses the fact that "In Polish scholarship Conrad has been discussed more in terms of his nationalism than racial
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