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....
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