Heart Of Darkness


Conrad's novel, , relies on the historical period of imperialism in order to describe its protagonist, Charlie Marlow, and his struggle. Marlow's catharsis in the novel, as he goes to the Congo, rests on how he visualizes the effects of imperialism. This paper will analyze Marlow's "change," as caused by his exposure to the imperialistic nature of the historical period in which he lived.
Marlow is asked by "the company", the organization for whom he works, to travel to the Congo river and report back to them about Mr. Kurtz, a top notch officer of theirs. When he sets sail, he doesn't know what to expect. When his journey is completed, this little "trip" will have changed Marlow forever! ...

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African Congo on a "business trip". He is an Englishmen through and through. He's never been exposed to any alternative form of culture, similar to the one he will encounter in Africa, and he has no idea about the drastically different culture that exists out there.
Throughout the book, Conrad, via Marlow's observations, reveals to the reader the naive mentality shared by every European. Marlow as well, shares this naiveté in the beginning of his voyage. However, after his first few moments in the Congo, he realizes the ignorance he and all his comrades possess. We first recognize the general naiveté of the Europeans when Marlow's aunt is seeing him for the last time before he embarks on his journey. Marlow's aunt is under the assumption that the voyage is a mission to "wean those ignorant millions from their horrid ways"(18-19). In reality, however, the Europeans are there in the name of imperialism and their sole objective is to earn a substantial profit by ...

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response is clearly rebuking the words of a "savage" for having said something so ridiculous and "uncivilized".

Quite surprisingly, this mentality does not pertain exclusively to the Englishmen in Europe. At one point during Marlow's voyage down the Congo, his boat hits an enormous patch of fog. At that very instant, a "very loud cry" is let out(66). After Marlow looks around and makes sure everything is all right, he observes the contrasts of the whites and the blacks expressions.

It was very curious to see the contrast of expression of the white men and of the black fellows of our crew, who were as much strangers to this part of the river as we, though their homes were only eight ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/19/2004 06:11:24 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4065
Pages: 15

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