Cannibalism In Joseph Conrad's The Heart Of Darkness

1085 Words null Page
The Heart of Darkness was a novel written by Joseph Conrad and published in February 1899. The story revolves around different types of darkness such as the setting of the story, the color of one’s skin, and even the darkness that lies inside each individual. Natives are dominated by the company to do what is told in order for each ship to successfully reach each station throughout the Congo river.The darkness drives the story as the company’s evil ways start to unravel while Marlow finds the dark truth of who Kurtz really is. The Heart of Darkness starts off introducing a sailor named Marlow and his journey up the Congo river to meet the legend, Kurtz. He travels to Africa as a riverboat captain for a company that seems to force the natives …show more content…
(Heart 2105). Conrad uses cannibalism in his novel as sailors who help him in his journey across the Congo river, but unlike the mentality of people in his time period he is portraying cannibals as kind people. At this time Britain had less to do with wealth than property and ancestry because clothes, words, and the accents were all signs of class ( Heart 2015 ). In the novel, Marlow had thought of himself as a higher class than the African natives simply because of the way they dressed, but paid no attention to the wealth they may have possessed. “Heart of Darkness functions as a lead in to the twentieth century for a number of reasons. One of the most important aspects tied to twentieth-century sensibilities is the sense of cultural relativism, an awareness of the irrational and of the unconscious mind” At this time Africa was being exploited for their rubber and ivory so Europeans enslaved the natives to any manual work necessary. (A Journey into Darkness 2015). The company in the novel controlled the natives into giving doing their labor, finding their ivory, and helping the ship enter each of the …show more content…
There was a darkness of the natives skin as well as the racism that went through the company during the journey. Since the natives had been African the Europeans believed they were better than them and enslaved them into doing their labor. The Company as well as Kurts showed how dark “evil” they really were when they brutally tortured the natives if they didn 't listen. They were surrounded by the actual darkness of the Congo river which had been caused by the fog and the gloomy forest. In the story Kurtz symbolizes the evil in mankind considering his brutality amongst the natives while Marlow symbolizes the good as he never judged a character in the worst way he always saw the good in people such as the natives and cannibals. Another symbol would be the severed heads on the fence because it showed Kurtz brutality, he treated the natives as if they weren 't even human. The authors ' message was to show his journey across the Congo river and explain what he witness throughout the voyage while still entertaining his readers. Every Journey he had experienced helped him with the small details involving the

Related Documents