"Heart of Darkness"- Joseph Conrad, Essay

Topics: Colonialism, Colonization, Postcolonialism Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: November 5, 2011
Joseph Conrad’s progressive ideas about colonialism are instilled into his novella, Heart of Darkness, (1902) through which the philanthropic pretence of the European Colonisers towards African natives is unveiled. Whilst Conrad’s post colonial writings were ahead of his own time and context, they are accompanied and contrasted with views founded through a colonial mindset, where colonisation is seen to perhaps bear a burden upon the Europeans rather than the natives. As a result of this, Conrad creates a narrator; Marlow, who vacillates between opinion of his company’s motives – to colonise and to exploit for economic gain. Through this indecisiveness and in the style of a framed narrative, Conrad acts as a story teller to create a parable that denunciates and forces society to question the superiority of colonialism. Despite the indecision, Heart of Darkness seeks to condemn colonialism

Through Conrads description of the colonizers as “traders” as well as the treatment of the native Americans as a benevolent part of “civilization” we are eluded to the ideas of the ultrustic Europeans and their philanthropic notions based on religion and economy. Through the colonial process the colonists were able to impose their religion and thoughts upon the colonized in order to gain greater power over them. A persons rank in society is often based upon their wealth and power, this thought is the idea that fueled colonization during the 1800’s and 1900’s. The colonizers need for wealth fueled their colonizing efforts based on the ivory in the area. “he declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country because he could do so, and had a fancy for it, and there was nothing on earth to prevent him from doing as he jolly well pleased” expresses the idea that the entire colonization process was based around economic profit and the need for wealth moving from the idea of helping the Africans to exploiting them of their jewels. The use of...
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