The Darkness Of Colonialism Essay

774 words - 4 pages

Heart of Darkness, a novella written by Joseph Conrad, explores the growth of colonialism in Africa, narrated by a man, named Marlow, telling his life experiences to his crewmates. Over the course of Heart of Darkness, certain aspects of colonialism and those involved are revealed in a darker form than usual. Conrad provides an anti-colonialism novel rich with hidden explanations as to why. Heart of Darkness is an anti-colonialism novel, because
To begin with, the Europeans saw the people they colonized as lower life forms. In Heart of Darkness specifically, when Marlow arrives at the first company station, he sees six Africans in chains being put to work. Marlow describes them “Black rags were wound round their loins, and the short ends behind wagged to and fro like tails…I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope” (Conrad 17) in a way comparing them to animals.
Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s Burden also supports European views on those colonized. In the first stanza, Kipling writes “Take up the White Man’s Burden…new caught, sullen peoples half-devil and half-child”, meaning that the natives are wild and imprudent and it is white man’s duty to help them.
David Livingstone, however, differs from the other sources in that he truly wants to help the natives. He writes that “my object in going into the country south of the desert was to instruct the natives in a knowledge of Christianity” and explains his leaving due to “…many circumstances prevented my living amongst which were consideration arising…slave system.” (Livingstone) David Livingstone appears as a truly moral man providing a stark contrast to other men of his time. He came to Africa to bring Christianity to help save the souls of the natives and tells others to “give up small luxuries of life in order to carry knowledge and truth to those in darkness.” (Livingstone)
There is a flaw within Livingstone; however, that exposes a more typical European view. He insists that he has to “find a path to the sea in order that I should no sink to the level of the natives.” (Livingstone) This is particularly interesting since a path would have prevented Kurtz...

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