How Is Charlie Marlow Imperialism

Superior Essays
Joseph Conrad’s book, The Heart of Darkness, analyzes the various views shared during the historical period of imperialism through his protagonist Charlie Marlow. Throughout the story, we see a definite sense of changes as a result of his experiences with the things he has witnessed and learned, especially when meeting the infamous Mr. Kurtz. Marlow’s journey and the struggles change his understanding of how he saw imperialism. Marlow’s trip in the Congo 's taught him that the movement to help advance nations that ‘uncivilized’ was in fact a journey of greed, power and arrogance. When we are introduced to Marlow, a mid-aged sailor, who has always wanted to travel the blank spaces on his maps, especially the Congo River. He soon applies to …show more content…
Some of these rumors include his uncle and the manager in charge are complaining about him stealing ivory and that his position wasn’t earned but given to him due to the connections he has. Marlow becomes so fascinated by the tales of Mr. Kurtz almost to the level of obsession that his trip to visit the interior has now become the search for the amazing Mr. Kurtz. We see a more notable change in Marlow’s character as he suddenly becomes like a follower instead of a leader due to his impression of Mr. Kurtz, which is crafted both by the stories he hears and his own imagination of him. He begins to lose sight of his surroundings and concentrates on the illusion and image of a man he has never …show more content…
Marlow comes off appearing to be nice, feeling sympathy for both the natives in chains and the cannibalistic ones. However, he isn’t exactly ethical. He neither helps those who are clearly in distress nor does he treat them poorly. Overall, Marlow is in fact a decent guy. He is one of great criticism and skepticism for his environment and those around him. His choices to in fact notice when something seems off or unfair, yet do very little to change it makes him relatable as a character to the audience this book was intended for. Having be based on the time when imperialism was in full swing, there were those who didn’t buy the message that most Europeans were selling when it came to their intentions. Those who did witness the harsh truth of what was really happening questioned their beliefs and values, like our protagonist. Marlow’s experiences with Kurtz and the Congo’s teaches him the dark reality that is the human condition -- we all have a darkness to us that we aren’t proud of or are aware of until we are put in certain circumstances that would draw them out. Having realized this leads to Marlow becoming more wise and philosophic which leaves him unable to return to the European society that he left behind due to the knowledge he has obtained. Marlow has seen the darkness that lies in the souls of humans and fully understands what that darkness is capable

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