King Leopolds Ghost Analysis

1576 WordsDec 9, 20117 Pages
Adam Hochschild’s “King Leopold’s Ghost” is an account of a man’s rise of power who was very cruel and did unimaginable things. When I began reading, I wasn’t sure where the novel was going, but I soon caught on to what Hochschild was revealing. As the story begins to unfold he tells a story of King Leopold II of Belgium who managed to seize land next to the Congo River in Africa. King Leopold used political manipulation and lies to get what he wanted. King Leopold had everyone fooled that he was a humanitarian and he was in the Congo for the greater good, but that was not the case. He claimed that civilizing the Congo would keep out “Arab slave- traders” to gain support of people, but Leopold wanted something else. Leopold was very…show more content…
For example, if the “men” were not meeting his standards they often held women hostage and raped them to ensure productivity was sufficient. Although, innocent blood was being spilled and they even cut limbs some people and surprising part is Leopold never set foot in the “free state”. Hoshschild even makes the comment that “there was something very modern about that“(Hochschild 4). King Leopold II had no human respect, and his own family had barley anything to do with him. I personally don’t understand how someone could stand to look themselves in the mirror after doing such horrible things, and it shows how far people would go for wealth. Throughout the book Hochschild shows the dedication of Morel, and major roles that characters played to shape the history of the Congo like Stanley, and William Sheppard (who was one of the most outspoken out of all American Congo missionaries.) The author examined the Congo because it shows how extreme colonialism is and what it was like for people that were under a colonial rule. I think this book has a clear meaning and thesis, Hochschild wanted to expose what happened in the Congo because he felt like it had been covered up and he wanted to paint the readers a picture that they would never forget. My theory is I don’t believe that King Leopold was there for the greater good and to better the Congolese people. I think it’s obvious from
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