The Power of Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India Essay

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The Power of Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India John A. McClure writes in Kipling and Conrad that "as the twentieth century opened, the artists and intellectuals of the age increasingly came to believe that imperial rule, if inevitable in the short run, was an inglorious enterprise that deformed both those who ruled and those who submitted" (153). Joseph Conrad and E. M. Forster were among these artists and each expressed their misgivings about the "inglorious enterprise" and its "deforming" effects in Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India respectively. I will attempt to analyze some of these effects among a range of British characters in both novels in terms of the connections between ideologically motivated…show more content…
But ideology, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "the integrated assertions, theories, and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program," is a more efficient way to manage social contradictions because it provides a comprehensive picture of the society in which social and economic inequalities are represented as natural and inevitable. The aim is to make the subordinate classes feel it would be futile to attempt to change their situation and "dominant-class subjects themselves are freer to believe that their wealth and power are after all justified" (Kavanagh, 309). Much of the standard British ideology regarding the Empire runs along the lines of 'Britian is the most highly developed civilization in the world and we are actually elevating the people of the regions we control through their exposure to us and our culture,' so that the British and the native peoples are both encouraged to view the imperialistic relationship as good for everyone. Yet, at the same time, a system of cultural assumptions is put forth based on emphasizing and exaggerating the differences between the colonized and colonizer and citing these differences as evidence that the colonizer is "naturally" suited to govern as the colonized is to be governed (Memmi, 71). This strategy can take the form of
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