The Colonialistic Bias Of The Heart Of Darkness

Topics: Colonialism, Africa, Black people Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: November 26, 2001
The Coloniaolistic bias of heart of darkness.

In the colonialistic bias of Heart of Darkness by Francis B. Singh, he argues that Conrad wrote the story from first hand experience of imperialism. Conrad was a victim of Russia's colonialistic policies toward Poland. Singh says that the basis of Heart of Darkness comes from Canard's own experience in the Belgian Congo, one of the most exploited areas in Africa. Conrad doesn't tell the story directly, he uses Marlow. Marlow's impressions of colonialism fall into three classes. One is exemplified by comparing present colonialism to the Roman's colonizing ancient Britain. The second is characterized by the "noble cause" the "jolly pioneers of progress" and the "improved specimen." The third class is used to lash out against colonialism. "The African natives, victims of Belgian exploitation, are described as "shapes" and "bundles of acute angles" to show the dehumanizing effect of colonialistic rule on the ruled. Singh says that Kurtz becomes an animated image of death carved out of old ivory a voice and a shadow, suggesting the loss of personality that colonialism effects on the rulers.

Singh then looks at the title of the book to focus on. He says that on one level it indicates the geographical location of the Belgian Congo and the color of its inhabitants, or the Africans. It also refers to the evil practices of the colonizers of the Congo, their exploitation of the natives, and suggests that the real darkness is not in Africa but in Europe, and that its heart is not in the breasts of black Africans but in all whites who engage in colonialistic enterprise. He is suggesting that what is apparently black is really white, and what is apparently white is really black.

According to Marlow the colonizers became psychologically depraved because, being cut off from the norms of civilization, they turned to the lawless jungle. Singh implies that Marlow's trip upriver into the heart of Africa represents a similar...
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