Heart of Darkness

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  • Topic: Africa
  • Pages : 2 (538 words )
  • Download(s) : 18
  • Published : December 17, 2006
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Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad was a fascinating book that told of a man named Marlow and his journey in Africa. He is hired by a trading company to go up the Congo in order to make contact with a man named Kurtz. He is given command of his own riverboat in order to make the journey. Along the way he sees many disagreeable things that have been caused by the Europeans exploiting the continent of Africa. The things he sees along the way make Heart of Darkness a good title for the book. The main unpleasant characteristics that are exhibited from the Europeans in Africa include greed, selfishness and racism.

Racism was a main characteristic that the Europeans showed toward the Africans. They treated the Africans poorly solely because of their race. At one point in the book Marlow is taking to a man who says "Can't say I saw any road or any upkeep, unless the body of a middle-aged Negro, with a bullet hole in the forehead, upon which I absolutely stumbled three miles further on, may be considered as a permanent improvement." (Pg. 86) Not only does this quote show this mans personal prejudice toward Negroes but it also implies that a white man killed him because most if not all of the Africans did not have guns but the Europeans did. Through out the book racism was something that the Europeans showed to the Africans.

Greed was also a characteristics that the Europeans exhibited. The Europeans knew that there was good money in ivory and that there was an abundance of ivory to be harvested from Africa. Therefore, they exploited the Africans using them to work to collect the ivory and then take the money for themselves. When Marlow asked a the manager that was on his ship why he was in Africa he responded by saying "'To make money, of course. What do you think?' he said scornfully." (pg. 86) This quote shows that the Europeans were greedy and came to Africa only for the money they could get out of it.

Selfishness to the point of brutality...
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