The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

1305 Words6 Pages
Kashif Qureshi
Western Civilization II
Question #1

Imperialism is when a country is extending it’s influence by acquiring other governments or territories through diplomacy or military force.There are many motives for imperialism attributed to the different characters in “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad. For example the men who work for the Company describe what they do as trade, and their treatment of native Africans is part of a humane project of civilization. But what these men for the company really do is they extending their influence on the Africans by force. In “The Heart of Darkness” Marlow who also work for the company states “It was just robbery with violence, aging gravated murder on a great scale, and men
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King Leopold from “The Black Man’s Burden” and the company from “The Heart of Darkness” have very similar motives attributed to imperialism, such as exploiting Africa of it resources. Joseph Conrad doesn’t single out to any one motive in particular he gives them all their fair share in “ The Heart of Darkness,” the point that Conrad tries to emphasize is how imperialism is associated with many negatives. Kurtz is one of the characters in “The Heart of Darkness” who has a very clear motive attributed towards imperialism. Kurtz is open about his actions that he does not trade but rather takes ivory by force, and he describes his own treatment of the natives with the words like suppression and extermination. Kurtz has let himself loose by keeping company with excessively with the natives and not keeping up appearances with the company; in so doing, he has become wildly successful but has also made enemies of his fellow white men. Kurtz states “He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, “ ‘must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings- we approach them with the might as of a deity’ ” and so on, and so on. “ ‘By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded’ ” .(Conrad, 92)” Kurtz believes he is superior to the Africans and he has the right to take whatever he wants by exerting power towards them. His attitude towards the Africans
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