Imperialism In Heart Of Darkness

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The Use of Darkness in Characterization in “Heart of Darkness” Through Imperialism In many great works of literature, the use of darkness and insanity in characterization was often used in a fictional matter. However, there is nothing fictional about the darkness that had spread through Africa’s deepest roots as a result of imperialism. This alone had set the primal continent back several hundred years behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and development. Lacking an advanced society and a steady leadership, corruption had taken place, leaving it’s civilians desperately seeking structure within their government. Joseph Conrad used this concept in his novel, “Heart of Darkness”, to display how the corruption of Africa and it’s …show more content…
As mentioned many times before, the many years of constant imperialism in Africa had really taken an extreme toll for the absolute worst. The native people, who had lived there for hundreds of years, experienced this change in culture and were completely devastated. This still has lasting effects that are still very real today. The people described in “The Heart of Darkness” are seen as uncivilized and uneducated people who are beyond primitive and are hundreds of years behind the rest of the world in terms of modern technology. The novel took place after King Leopold II of Belgium took over the Congo when his reign ended in November of 1908. After his ruling, the Congo was an absolute disaster and could be almost deemed uninhabitable and dangerous. As Peter Edgerly had said in his research, “Civilization can be barbaric. It is both a hypocritical veneer and a valuable achievement to be vigilantly guarded.”(Edgerly 21). The people of the Congo in the “Heart of Darkness” were very lost when it came to a structured government, and once Kurtz came along, that was almost considered salvation. Kurtz made them do extremely awful and horrendous things, killed some of them off for his own entertainment, turned them against one another, and ruined the families that they once had. Despite all of this, they still looked at him and worshipped him like a deity. They were so grateful to be part of a “working” society that it did not matter how bad they were treated and tortured, they would be “okay” if they provided some productive assistance with the ivory trading business. Marlow observed these people 's’ behavior and even commented,“Look at the influence that man must have. Is it not frightful?”(Conrad 56). Darkness and evil had consumed these people’s souls from the very beginning, and it

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