Colonization In Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

Improved Essays
How the theme Colonization is shown in the novel the “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad?
The novel “Heart of Darkness” is a story about Africa mainly Congo which was colonized by European. The story is narrated by a man called Marlow who goes to Congo as a Stream boat caption. Here Conrad describes the Europeans secret evil of colonialism and their approach to exploit natives. Colonization can be seen through Marlow’s eyes the way European are treating the Natives and the treatment of natives by Kurtz.
In the book heart of darkness Conrad talks about how Europeans colonized Africans and treated them badly. The line “I passed through several abandoned villages” (pg.33) can mean that the colonizers would have been treating the natives badly so the natives might be abandoning their villages and going away from the colonizers into the deep woods of the country where the colonizers could not reach them.
…show more content…
The lines “a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory” (pg.31) shows that European did not come to Congo to civilized the natives rather civilization was just a name they used so they could bring all their cheap stuffs to the country and in exchange take precious ivory from the natives. The another motive for Europeans for going to Congo was to satisfy their lust for the power which is explained in the phrase “it was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on the great scale, and men going blind-as is very proper for those who tackle darkness.” (Conrad,

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Those official work above the law, abuse the natives and commit numerous other offenses which accounted for the obscure face of the colonialism. From the stories told to us by Marlow we know that the whole process looked like a machine which devastated everything and everyone in its way all in the name of profit. Even though the methods used by Kurtz were not optimal and healthy he was able to reach apogee of the colonization – all natives worshiped him like he was a god. That was one of the reasons why he was capable of delivering the biggest supplies of ivory to the trading company. Africa was supposed to have more benefits from the colonization but Europe took advantage of the low development of the continent and earned profits from the labor of natives.…

    • 1147 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Consequently, the example of killing an African chief, as done by Fresleven, reflects of the need of power by “civilized” men who came in and out of the jungle. Marlow also refers to his helmsman as a piece of machinery or better yet and “improved specimen”. Due to this evidence, clearly violence and discrimination of natives are among the central reasons why colonists travel to “barren” places in the jungle. Not to achieve a connection with the natives and treat them as equals, but to degrade them to seem strong from the weakness of…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 1085 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The “idea” of civilisation is therefore perverted by Conrad to critique imperialism. This Manager and Kurtz exemplify the notion of the European becoming savage as they are consumed by their need to gain power and money through ivory trading. Kurtz’s initial mission of civilisation dissolves into the imposition of power and violence upon the natives to gain power as an ivory trader. He becomes a part of the tribe in order to use them for his own benefit. The aspect of no restrictions in Africa is used as a legitimate reason by Europeans to perpetuate their own debasement as the Manager and his uncle propose to hang Kurtz and his assistant just to eliminate unfair competition because “anything can be done in this country” (Conrad 36).…

    • 746 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    There is little hope for the natives who have been mistreated. Marlow refers to his trip down the river as “[penetrating] deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness” (37). The more information Marlow receives, creates a greater darkness. Kurtz, a main contributor to the immoral actions of the Company, is viewed by Marlow as belonging to the “powers of darkness” (49). Kurtz is one of the most powerful tradesmen on this expedition for ivory.…

    • 1331 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Marlow describes the natives as having “a wild vitality” and their “faces like grotesque masks.” The Europeans were racist toward black people. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them because their black. For example, "the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly" (Conrad, 1902: 58). One reason or example that shows that Europeans were racist, was because they made the blacks be their slaves. Black people were doing work for the white people and that just goes to show that they were racist.…

    • 1594 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    John Smith-He Analysis

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages

    However, at the same time the colonists were making money, the slave were being mistreated, abused, and exploited for their physical ignorance, regarding their new home (the New World). He gives examples of their passage, and recollects how the slaves revolted against the whites on multiple occasions. However from this conflict, the conditions only got worse for the slaves as the influential, racist colonists established laws that physically oppressed the slaves. Howard Zinn’s point of view regarding the use of slaves is clearly negative and sympathetic. He paints his compassion for the slaves as representing the European slave traders solely as “heartless monsters” that would subjugate peoples, and send peoples to be separated and abused in a new continent.…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Kurt was supposed to bring civilization in Africa but he eventually became obsessed of Natives and their land and became obsessed with an ivory. In that case he became savagery just like them and even makes friends among them. Marlow seem to be a racist when he was capable to differentiate between the blacks and whites.…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He also mentions that it 's the job of the superiors to civilize the inferiors (Doc #4). This is displaying a social impact on Africa. This makes France look like a helping country since they mention that they are inferior races and that the superior races must help them, even though they only made their country worse. Great Britain also did this as well when Sir Edward Hertslet created a map of all the countries the Europeans owned in Africa. On the key of the map next to the British, it says “possessions and protectorates”.…

    • 1090 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The men become just as dark and wild as the natives they are supposedly helping. The begin to treat the natives, not as humans who can be bettered, but as nothing more than “shadows and acute angles”, that are only there to help collect ivory. Through colonialism, the men the journey into Africa eventually lose their sense of goodness and the evil within each colonial mans soul beings to…

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays