Penetrating the Darkness of the Congo

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Over ten million Africans were killed in the Congo during the European imperialism invasion that in 1850. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses the setting to show the detrimental effects of European imperialism has on the mind, Africa, and those who would became intricate pawns in the capitalist greed of European companies. During the book Africa can be seen as a character that is fighting against the invaders. While the characters in the book stay in Africa they find that their psyche becomes severely damaged. In the very beginning, Marlow discovers that Fresleven, “...was the gentles, quietest creature...Therefore...he whacked the the old nigger mercilessly...” (Conrad 8). As Fresleven interacted with Africa he starts to go mad.…show more content…
In the medical field, viruses acquired the name agents. Ironically, Africa is the human in the metaphor; a human trying to fight off a parasitic virus. A virus attacks its host only for nutrients that it needs. Just like the Europeans are doing when, “collected, bartered, swindled, or stolen more ivory...” (Conrad 57). Only doing so to benefit themselves, which sickens Africa. A natural defense that Africa has is to heat up, killing the agents inside. Along with devastating heat, “The sun too much for him...” (Conrad 15). Like a host body that overheats to kill the infections working through its veins, in this case the rivers. Africa uses the rivers to physically retaliate by trying to expelled Marlow and his crew out of Africa. Marlow uses a steamboat since “...the brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress...” (Conrad 83). Africa tries to flush them out back to where they came from; showing that they are not wanted. That Africa urgently needs them to leave so that way he or she can heal. Africa tries very hard to get them to leave, so much that “...I really wanted was rivets, by heaven! Rivets” (Conrad 32). Marlow severely needs to rivets to fix his ship, since he can not simply paddle through the too strong current of river to get to the heart of the Congo. While the river attempts to eject the imperialists, Africa also sends out
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