Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: Conrad's Views of African Colonization

Topics: African people, African, Joseph Conrad Pages: 4 (921 words) Published: May 30, 2006
In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, one can draw many theories as to what

Conrad's views of African Colonization are. One of the most obvious and monotonous themes of

this novel would be African racism and discrimination. So, did Conrad write this novel as a way

to condone the acts of savage European imperialism and slavery, or, to make us realize what

they did was unethical? I believe he was a racist, and you will soon come to see why.

Picture yourself streaming down on the gloomy waters of the Congo River in the heart of

Africa. The water seems calm and the thick fog around you keeps your hair sprung up on the

back of your neck, while you have thoughts of the cannibal steamboat crews eating you while

you are asleep. These are just some of the things that transpires in Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Although events of this novel come across as blatantly racist, the real question is, was the author,

Joseph Conrad, racist? After thoroughly analyzing the novel, I have concluded that Conrad

showed racist traits by using racial slurs, as well as glorifying slavery and the unequal treatment

of the native Africans in this book.

The novel's main character, Marlow, is hired by The Company, an English shipping

company. It is revealed that Marlow is a sailor/explorer himself, but had never sailed to Africa

before. The officials of The Company in England are so oblivious to everything happening, that

they can't even fathom the destruction and death caused because of their ivory shipping. Conrad

made this a clear example of how these European companies care for only wealth while

completely neglecting the environment and it's people and treating them as if they were not

humans. The racism here is shown because The Company lacks the acknowledgment of the

native Africans as people and treat them as property.

In Heart of Darkness, there is an emphasis and dominance in using racist language....
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
  • Symbolism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Conrad's Intent in Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Imperialism- Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Ambiguity in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Language in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Racism Portrayed in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay
  • An Analysis of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Research Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free