Essay about A Post Colonial Criticism Of Heart Of Darkness
“And between whiles I had to look after the savage who was fireman. He was an improved specimen; he could fire up a vertical boiler...and what he knew was this - that should the water in that transparent thing disappear, the evil spirit inside the boiler would get angry through the greatness of his thirst, and take a terrible vengeance.” (Conrad 45)
Throughout much of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, there lurks a theme of Marlow’s, and Kurtz’s, perceived superiority. When Marlow speaks of the natives, there is an air of pity in his language. He sees himself as more developed, although there does seem to be validity in his view. Marlow is a white man coming into the Congo, to work among these savages and to bring riches back to England. He is there to conquer undiscovered land, the “place of darkness” (Conrad 9). This darkness not only represents the mysteries of the jungle, but also the people who reside within it, dark literally and figuratively.
Eurocentrism and the presence of the subaltern guide Marlow through the jungle. Relying much on the language and social implications used by Conrad, the post-colonial lens “is a hybrid alliance of philosophy with linguistic theory with literary analysis” (Willette). Its goal is to go much deeper than just the easily understood surface bigotry. Instead, the lens is able to dig into the tensions threaded between the lines of Marlow’s intricately spun tale. Winding along the…