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Colonialism and its impact in Conrars Heart of Darkness.

Marlow's story in Heart of Darkness takes place in the Belgian Congo, the most notorious European colony in Africa for its greed and brutali ation of the nati!e people" #n its depiction of the monstrous wastefulness and casual cruelty of the colonial agents toward the African nati!es, Heart of Darkness re!eals the utter hypocrisy of the entire colonial effort" #n Europe, coloni ation of Africa was $ustified on the grounds that not only would it bring wealth to Europe% it would also ci!ili e and educate the &sa!age& African nati!es" Heart of Darkness shows that in practice the European coloni ers used the high ideals of coloni ation as a co!er to allow them to !iciously rip whate!er wealth they could from Africa" 'nlike most no!els that focus on the e!ils of colonialism, Heart of Darkness pays more attention to the damage that coloni ation does to the souls of white coloni ers than it does to the physical death and de!astation unleashed on the black nati!es" (hough this focus on the white coloni ers makes the no!ella somewhat unbalanced, it does allow Heart of Darkness to e)tend its criticism of colonialism all the way back to its corrupt source, the &ci!ili ation& of Europe"

Heart of Darkness: Colonialism


#t can be considered that Heart of Darkness has been written in the era of an)iety" (here are some arguments among critics whether the no!el is a moral lesson about human self* indulgence or a sociological commentary upon the morality of colonialism and imperialism" #t is claimed that the no!el is about both self*disco!ery and also colonialism and imperialism" Heart of Darkness attacks colonialism, its effects on the nati!es and the Congo" Conrad e)perienced coloni ation as a young boy when +oland was under ,ussian occupation" Conrad gi!es the reader an o!er!iew of how the Africans were mistreated during coloni ation" (he horror is described in the book, when Marlow discusses about the ,oman coloni ation of ancient Britain- (hey grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to begot" #t was $ust robbery with !iolence, aggra!ated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind."(he con/uest of the earth, which mostly means the taking away from those who ha!e a different comple)ion or slightly flatter noses than oursel!es, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much" (herefore, Marlow talks about his e)periences in Africa by referring to the life of ,oman soldiers and their difficulties"(erry Eagleton, a Mar)ist, declared that Conrad's work was an art of ideological contradiction resulting in stalemate- Conrad neither belie!es in the cultural superiority of the colonialist nations nor re$ects colonialism out right" (he Message of Heart of Darkness is that 0estern ci!ili ation is at base as barbarous as African society* a !iew point which disturbs imperialist assumptions to the precise degree that it reinforces them" (he title of the book is a metaphor" (he real darkness cannot be in Africa, but is originally from Europe" (he title could refer to either the e!il of the Congo1s coloni ers, their mistreatment of the nati!es or the geographic location of the Belgian Congo and the colour of its residents" (he heart is not for black Africans, but all the whites who get in!ol!ed in the colonialist e)pedition" 0hen Marlow described Eldorado e)ploring

$ourney, it can be inferred as an ironic attack on colonialism- (his de!oted band called itself the Eldorado E)ploring E)pedition and # belie!e they were sworn to secrecy" (heir talk howe!er was the talk of sordid buccaneers" #t was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage" (here was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world" (o tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe" 0ho paid the e)penses of the noble enterprise # do not know% but the uncle of our manager was leader of that lot" Edward 2aid wrote in Culture and #mperialism that 3colonialism is chiefly about political and economic relationships, some of which may or may not continue after a state gains independence" (he postcolonial era, on the other hand, is about the intrusion and coloni ation of minds with ideas" 4enyan writer 5gugi 0A (hiong'o, often speaks of 3decoloni ing the mind6 ** that the coloni er and the coloni ed both carry colonialism in their minds long after the state has gained independence"6As Marlow is shocked by obser!ing the e!il nature of colonialism as he tra!els up the ri!er, his real challenge grows with the idea of colonialism" #n this no!el, Conrad himself is recogni ed as critical of colonialism"