Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

1455 Words Sep 20th, 2016 6 Pages
Imperialism is an infectious mindset; one that overtook the minds of the most powerful nations in the world in the late 19th and 20th centuries and is still present today. At the very heart of the principle, imperialism is racist. It is the belief that all white men are morally obligated to “help” (or rule) all non-white people groups of the Earth. At the time of the publication of Joseph Conrad’s book “Heart of Darkness,” “The White Man’s Burden” had just been released and Europe was entirely consumed with the “scramble for Africa.” It is clear that both “The White Man’s Burden” and the “Scramble for Africa” heavily influenced Conrad’s literary work in the way that Conrad’s characters exploit the native people of the Congo in Africa for their ivory without remorse. Chinua Achebe wrote an article titled “An Image of Africa,” in which he argues that Conrad was intentionally and unnecessarily racist in his work. This is a hard and extreme claim to make, but extensive study of this time period will confirm that he is absolutely right. However, there is no one to justly blame here other than the society in this time and its twisted ideals. Imperialism was widely accepted and the white people implementing it genuinely thought that they were doing good by the people they were taking over. Only in hindsight can we as a society see that we were in the wrong, which follows the time-tried principle in history that with time comes regret-inducing clarity. Social norms are a force to…

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