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

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How you ever heat to somebody of your family? A commun questions: Is Joseph Conrad’s short novel, Heart Of Darkness, a result of an epiphany that he had during his Congo river adventures?, is Joseph Conrad communicating a message of hypocrisy behind

the imperialism that occurred in Africa during the nineteenth century? and does it question the integrity of the British

Empire?, possibly so. Considering that people of the Victorian age believed that their way of life was the only way to

live and imperialism was doing a benefit for Africa, contradicts the events that take place in the Heart Of Darkness;

including, a compelling letter concerning the issue of imperialism that reflects anguish towards the atrocities done in

the
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Prior to arriving in the Congo

River, the men aboard the steamboat are convinced that they are going to Africa with great intentions. Marlow makes an interesting point to the men, I was thinking of the old times, when Romans first came here, nineteen

hundred years ago- the other day…Light came out of this river since-you say Knights? Yes, but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lighting in the clouds. We live in the flicker- may it last as long as the old earth keeps

rolling! But darkness was here yesterday ([HOD] Conrad 5-6)

This passage is reflective of the conditioned state of mind of both Marlow and his crewmen aboard the steam

boat; relative to the belief of righteousness during the Victorian period. Marlow is justifying to his crewmen that,

they too, have been imperialized once before and to consider the fruitful results of their visitation from the
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Even with Marlow’s British influences aside, he still shows signs of a conscience, an

awareness, that imperialism contains a horrific darkness.

As stated by Frederick R. Karl, in an essay of criticism titled ‘A Readers Guide to

Joseph Conrad’, in the Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Journal:

The whole account of the European imperialism in the Congo is brilliantly convincing, not because of any developed ideology on Conrad’s part, but because in his struggle with Oedipal “savagery” he feels within himself the pathology of men who want to both improve the brutes and to exterminate them…No one is better at investing real observations of folly and sadism with the fever of a mind that has already imagined the worst criminality and severest punishment ( Karl [TCLC] 217).

Included in the quote of literary criticism, which mentions the hypocrisy behind imperialism, takes into account

the fine balance between the good of wanting to “improve the brutes” and the evil of wanting to

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