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Prejudice And Racism In The Jewel In The Crown And Heart Of Darkness

1402 words - 6 pages

Racism in The Jewel in the Crown and Heart of Darkness

   The effects of British colonialism are reflected in literature from both early modernism and post colonialism. Racial discrimination tainted both eras portrayed in the British morale of white supremacy over non-European counties unfolded. Heart of Darkness exemplifies early modernism in the British explorers viewed African natives of the Congo as incapable of human equality due to perceived uncivilized savagery. Personal interaction between races was little to none, as the freshly conquered Africans were still viewed as alien. Likewise, Jewel in the Crown, exemplifies of post colonialism, echoes racism from the British Rule in India. Postcolonial literature evolved from early modernism as the focus was of the interactions between the British and the people they conquered in modernism. Racism was still prevalent in post colonialism, yet the literature offers a slightly lees subhuman view of the Indians. The characters in both literary works express reactions to " learned prejudice" as white people in

"control of a black man's country" (Jewel of the Crown, P.150). Furthermore, the theme common human bonds between blacks and whites develop as British characters reject racism in " the critique of the traditional values of the culture" (Modern Literature handout, P.4). Through the recognized human bond, the need to bridge the gap between black and white people develops.


            The modernism theory of British " awareness of primitiveness and savagery civilization built, and therefore an interest in the non-European peoples" (), was still evident in Post colonialism literature. The British explorer of uncivilzed Africa, Marlow in Heart of Darkness, has similar viewpoints the Daphne, a British women in love with an Indian man, in Jewel of the crown. Both gain an instinctive, somewhat primal attraction to the non-European natives, with Daphne's interaction on a more personal level.   However, the effects of "learned prejudice" produces fear of dark sinned people, which presents an obstacle to the instinctive need for human bonding. Marlow finds himself by the tribal drumbeats of the uncivilized Africans. Marlow's emotions are torn by the instinctual sub coming to the drum beats becoming " weird incantations" with a " strange narcotic effect, turning to " moral shock... as id something altogether monstrous...had been thrust upon me  unexpectedly"(Eng 103 JC study Guide, p.2, and longman 2236-2237). Likewise, Daphne experiences primal instincts she is attracted to the British-Indian Hari, with " the moment we held each other we felt the uncomplicated magic of straightforward physical attraction" (Jewel of the crown, P.384).


Yet Daphne, like Marlow, is aware of the modernistic view of learned prejudices she questions the " complication of the curious almost titillating fear of his color"(Jewel of the crown, p. 384). Fear and primal instinct entangle in both...

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