Reflection Paper on Heart of Darkness

Topics: Heart of Darkness, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Leopold II of Belgium Pages: 3 (1058 words) Published: August 5, 2008
The central aim in which the shipmates in Heart of Darkness are pursuing is the expansion of their home countries’ empires. Yet, many people are hurt in this enterprise, and it’s not only the colonized that are impacted negatively by this Imperialist project. Another dominant theme in this book involves notions of civilization. The author Joseph Conrad was trying to convey messages through out the book about Imperialism and civilized society’s.

In Heart of Darkness, Conrad was trying to symbolize the positiveness of Imperialism, using Marlow, the main character. Marlow, as a character, realized the evil that negative Imperialism has caused and decides it is truly unnecessary. Marlow is on a mission to civilize the people of Africa to help them progress and advance but realizes he is an imposter. He recognized that he is an invader into foreign land yet sticks to his moral values.

“Conrad uses Marlow, himself, as a symbol too. Marlow symbolizes the uncorrupted men that traveled to foreign lands to help the ‘uncivilized’ become cultured (Colonialism). Another character in the book helps symbolize the negative effects of the institution of imperialism. In the book he is known as the manager. The manager is very much into himself, mean, and evil. Conrad uses him to symbolize the arrogance of the Europeans. “His good health symbolizes the everlastingness of Europeans who invaded Africa and their ability and rape it of its natural resources. He is the symbol of the evil and cold-heartiness of imperialists (Colonialism). The manager was well settled and very much in control. The dislike Marlow has for the manager is a good example of the overall detestment of imperialized countries toward the aggressor. It seemed like Conrad made it a point too for us (the readers) to understand that Europeans were not the bringers of technology but the people, colonies that brought immoral corruption through imperialism.

A very interesting character in the book was...
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