Marlow’s contemplation during his journey through the Congo
In one of his novels, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad depicts the tale of a man who reflects upon the meaning of life as well as all of its intricasies and implications. Indeed, Marlow, the main character of this story, questions several existential topics and explores his own personal curiosity about the solidarity and darkness of the jungle he finds himself in. At one point in the storyline, Marlow and his crew depart towards the station where the enigmatic Kurtz resides. An interesting aspect of this portion of the adventure is that Marlow’s crew is mostly composed of cannibals. Upon realizing how famished these natives are, Marlow contemplates how incredible it seems that the cannibals have restrained themselves from giving in to their hunger and eating the European men onboard. It is this speculation that will be the topic of discussion in the following paper. Marlow’s thoughts and perception of the native tribe will be examined in order to provide a more concise understanding of his analysis of the cannibals.
During their trip towards Kurtz’s station, Marlow describes the inequality of power and discrimination that the natives must live with. They constantly receive unfair treatments, such as beatings and the lack of food and medical support, as well as being paid in ridiculous manner that can only fuel their hate towards the European conquerors. Upon suggesting that the cannibals on his crew are treated in a disingenuous way, Marlow truly questions why their motives have not been violent so far : ‘’Why in the name of all gnawing devils of hunger they didn’t go for us – they were thirty to five – and have a good tuck in for once, amazes me now when I think of it’’ (Conrad 37). Further analysis provided by Marlow explores the underlying reason why the natives refuse to attack their opressors. He manages to pinpoint one...
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