Imperialism In Heart Of Darkness

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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). By representing the descent of Kurtz into the …show more content…
He also sees the reality of colonization which is visualised by the chain-gangs and the “grove of death” (Conrad 21) which portray dying Africans as they are mistreated and disregarded completely like the machines as opposed to the “miracle” (Conrad 20) Accountant who is well-dressed and ignorant of the suffering around him. The depraved and degraded existence of the natives provides an alternative reality for Europeans who are pulled away from a fantasy. Conrad displays the excessive ineptitude of colonists in Congo as they are fascinated by the rich resources found in Africa especially ivory marking the descent of Europeans into savagery. Heart of Darkness leaves an impression of Africa as the site of reduction of humanity for the colonizers and the colonized which is challenged by Chinua Achebe in “An Image of Africa”. Achebe alleged Conrad of being a “thoroughgoing racist” (213) due to his portrayal of Africa as “place of negations” (206) which dehumanizes Africans. There is an

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