The Importance Of Colonialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1958 Words 8 Pages
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is one of the most known novels in English literature. The story begins when Marlow, who works for a Belgian company, went on a journey to the heart of Africa as a steamship captain. Through his journey, he heard the name of Kurtz for the first time. Then the name repeated many times which made Marlow, who is our narrator in addition to another unknown narrator, interested to know about Kurtz. Kurtz works for the company as an ivory trader in the Congo which was at that time one of Belgium's colonies. According to Marlow Kurtz was the ideal English man, or as what he called him a "remarkable man", who holds the banner of civilization. Marlow's dream of meeting Kurtz forced him to look for Kurtz, and when Marlow …show more content…
S. Zins who argues that:" when Conrad was writing his anti–colonial and anti–imperial Heart of Darkness. In that African novella he described imperialism as robbery with violence" (P. 1). This is true when he describes the Belgian colonization of Africa, but when he describes the British colonization he praises it and celebrating imperialism. Said in his book Culture and Imperialism states that:" Yet neither Conrad nor Marlow gives us a full view of what is outside the word – conquering attitudes… By that I mean that Heart of Darkness works so effectively because its politics and aesthetics are, so to speak, imperialist"(P. 24).
This novel represents two-dimensional aspects when it comes to racial issues, the first aspect is the representation of others when Marlow describes the Africans, and the second aspect is when he represents women, his aunt, Kurtz's mistress and Kurtz's intended. The self and others are shown in Conrad's novel, so, the English man is superior civilized and the Africans are inferior primordial. The Africans have no names, and not even a language. When Marlow describes their language he is talking about voices and when he describes them he resembles them to
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8). This means that Africa has no history and no population as he says, only a blank space. Before that he justifies colonialism by saying that it is the idea which matters: "What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea" (7). And the way you do it, is for the sake of civilization and you should sacrifice for this noble aim. Then this celebration becomes bigger or has a wider angle, when Marlow arrives the Congo, the Africans, according to him, have no language it is: "a violent babble of uncouth sounds" (22). It is only some kind of a meaningless sound that they produce. So, those Africans who have no history, not civilized and have no language must be colonized and dominated by Europeans who are civilized, have language to communicate with each other, and of course they have

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