Theme Of Colonialism In Heart Of Darkness

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In Joseph Conrad, novella, “Heart of Darkness”, there are quite a few types of darkness depicted. There is the literal darkness, due to nature, the darkness of ones skin, and most importantly the darkness of ones soul.. Conrad tells the tale of not only colonialism in Africa during 1890s, but how a journey deep into the jungle can ultimately bring out the potential “darkness” within anyones soul. The story itself centers around a man by the name of Marlow, who undertakes a journey up the Congo River to meet and bring back a mysterious, but ill man named Kurtz. As Marlow travels up the Congo to reach Kurtz, he encounters the widespread horror and plain brutality of colonialism everywhere he looks. The natives of the region have been forced into …show more content…
As Marlow begins to tell his tale, he compares the idea of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe. Instead of boasting about how colonialism will bring about civilized cultures, he challenges it harshly. Rather, Marlow see’s colonialism as nothing more than a “robbery of violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind” (pg 7). The conquest of Africa is not something, that brings out the best for all, but rather is the initiator of a great many evils. Men start out on their journey into the African interior believing that they are only helping by bringing their so called upstanding moral values and civilized culture to the natives . However, greed quickly takes over, and the darkness within each mans soul begins to be revealed. As men journey deeper into the African jungle “[t]he fascination of the of the abomination… the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate” takes over (pg.60). Free from the restraints of European culture, and the punishments of great crime. The men become just as dark and wild as the natives they are supposedly helping. The begin to treat the natives, not as humans who can be bettered, but as nothing more than “shadows and acute angles”, that are only there to help collect ivory. Through colonialism, the men the journey into Africa eventually lose their sense of goodness and the evil within each colonial mans soul beings to

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