Heart Of Darkness Essay

Submitted By CorgiMom77
Words: 710
Pages: 3

“Heart of Darkness” written by Joseph Conrad is a tale of a man named Marlow who ventures into Africa. Having always had a yearning to explore this dark country, he takes us on his journey along the Congo River and through the trials and tribulations of imperialism in the late 19th century. Not only does Marlow get an insight to his own self but he learns how imperialism affects other people as well. From the beginning the work Darkness doesn’t just appear in the title but also in much of Marlow’s descriptions “the air was dark above Gravesend, it still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth” (Norton, 1633) giving the sense that he is embarking on deep gloomy trip. Marlow is deceiving in that the words he speaks gives a sense that he is in favor of imperialism by referencing men who ruled and controlled people and countries “the adventurers ad the settlers; kings’ ships and the ships of men on ‘Change; captains, admirals, etc.” (Norton 1635). With imperialism, war is often started and for reasons not worth fighting over. Take for instance the Captain for whose spot Marlow had taken. He had gotten in a “quarrel from a misunderstanding about some hens” (Norton, 1639) although once the kindest man he felt the need to defend himself and his self-respect. “Heart of Darkness” is an indication that imperialism was that of enslavement in your own country. You lose your sense of self and the norm is to be like and do as everyone else. Marlow is ignorant to the fact that people are all the same until he travels through this oppressed country. It was obvious from the time that he arrived at the Company station that there was no effort to make life sustainable and better in Africa. The people here were being treated like that of a slave. Houses and buildings were merely piles of rubble and people “mostly black and naked” (Norton, 1643) moved about. The people here were also losing their land and natural resources. A new rail system was being built however blasting of rocks and cliffs were being done for no reason. The “Heart of Darkness” shows that imperialism is not bad for the imperialist (Mr. Kurtz and Marlow) but the effect is on those who have been conquered (the Africans). The only positive spirits seemed to be that of the white men. The drunken white man he passed who was supposed to be supervising the improvement of the road, and his guide who was dropped by the black men had ordered Marlow to punish them show the aggressive behavior and authority over the African territory. While Marlow becomes