Society's Struggle Against Its Savage Roots Essay example

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Society's Struggle Against Its Savage Roots Webster's online dictionary defines civilization as "a society in an advanced state of social development". Without the restraints of society, the behaviour of people will regress to their savage beginnings, due to the fact that one's need for survival will overpower all other impulses. The descent into savagery, man's inherent desire to survive over anything else, and the need for civilization and order shows how society unnaturally holds everyone together. Society artificially bonds everything together by imposing rules and structures and without the reminders of civilization and its conventions the savagery of human nature emerges. The strength of a society can be linked to its…show more content…
The light of civilization in the Congo is depicted as evil, symbolized by the white accountant who is clothed in white starched linen amongst the white man's civilized endeavours (digging holes) set against the dark natives -crouched in pain against the dark tree trunks- who are starving and dying as they work for the white man. Secondly, Kurtz is on a mission to procure ivory and to impose society onto a region of darkness. In his report to his superiors, he scrawls across the bottom, "Exterminate all the brutes!" (Conrad 128) Kurtz does not believe that the natives are in any way civilized, nor does he believe that the natives can become civilized on their own. He does not see the Africans as human beings, but merely as animals. Instead of civilizing them, which he obviously has decided would be foolish, he feels it would be easier simply to kill all of the natives. In these beliefs, one can see the darkness that comes from the civilizing mission. The darkness is within Kurtz (and people like him), and that darkness is brought to light in the minds of people like Marlow who see the savagery in their ways. Furthermore, a contemporary of Conrad, William Golding, also explores the theme of descending into savagery. Embedded within his story of a group of young boys struggling to survive alone on a deserted island -separated from society they had known- are insights to the

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