Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

1630 Words Oct 16th, 2014 7 Pages
Racism is a difficult trait to define, and to recognize. It is often hard to decipher what is actually racist, and what just comes across as such. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is the story of one man’s account of being an ivory transporter, down the Congo River. During the voyage, there are many encounters with African Natives, and many of those encounters reflect negatively on the natives. The white men who dominate the storyline are demeaning towards the natives, and paint them as being sub-human. The imagery and descriptions of the native’s actions and appearance also serves to portray them as savages. However, it is unclear whether the author actually believed this portrayal, or was merely trying to create an authentic representation of what the mindset of the Whiteman would look like during a trip down the Congo River. Heart of Darkness has caused some controversy as a result of its possible racism, as people contest it neglects the honorable tradition of the African people, instead degrading and dehumanizing them. The main themes of the book, however, do not center on race, and that was seemingly not the motivation behind writing it. But still the overwhelming instances of racism throughout the book are difficult to ignore. Joseph Conrad lived in an era that bred racism, and in his novella Heart of Darkness, the main protagonist (Charles Marlow) is a racist, and there are various occurrences of racist scenes and dialogue, illuminating the work as being of a racist…

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