The Environmental Factors of Evil: the Heart of Darkness Analysis

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Nitish Chimalakonda
Instructor: Sherry L. Unruh
AP CA IV
14 November 2012
The Environmental Factors of Evil
Travel can be a very stressful yet rewarding experience for many people. Tourism has started to become a very popular trend in modern society. Tourists travel across the globe to experience different cultures and traditions of various countries. People usually return to their households with a souvenir or a memorabilia to share that experience with others. This hobby dates back to the age of the British Empire when companies would go out to reach new shores to expand the empire and return home with gold, indentured servants, food, and other goods. When the men go out to conquer new worlds and change the world into a civilized society, they tend to adapt to the environment of the region they visit, sometimes for the worst. In Joseph Conrad’s turn of the century novella, Heart of Darkness, Conrad suggests that change in environment can lead to a change in one’s state of mind, including the transition to evil.

While some believe that the environment that a person resides in cannot influence their perceptions, most people would advocate that when a man gets attached to a certain environment they adapt to it mentally. Once a man becomes adapted to it mentally, it can be difficult to change their state of mind, whether it be good or evil. The company arrives in Africa to enlighten the natives and convert them to more civilized people. When Marlow walks from station to station, he sees the company men call the natives savages, criminals, murderers and other names that classify the natives as morally wrong and an ambiguous part of the world. As he continues onward, he notices a boiler lying in the grass, an undersized railroad car with its wheels in the air, and a detonation in order to build a railway even though the bomb was unnecessary. This “objectless blasting was all the work being done,” according to Marlow and it did not help the company’s cause of...
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