Heart Of Darkness And Racism Essay

Symbolism of racism was the first thing that stood out while reading this story.This idea came from the way that Joseph Conrad wrote about the whites, - “And while I had to lack after the savage who was a fireman…to look at him was edifying as seeing a dog in a parody of breeches and a feather hat, walking on his hind legs…he was useful and had been instructed ( Conrad used the “light and dark” difference regarding this.

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Spark Notes.com).” As a result, it seemed that no matter how educated the Natives became, they were still seen as being a lesser people to the whites. The light represented civilization –the civilized or “good” side of the world.

And the dark represented the uncivilized and savage or “evil” side of the world.

Conrad used this term in ways to identify social and intellectual elements in order to help the reader get a feel of his outlook and his own opinions of the world.

The two most noticeable interpretations of “darkness” were how it symbolized racism in the world and it also symbolized the enormous impact that an uncivilized world can have on a civilized person.

Critics identify Kurtz's death scene and Marlow's lie to Kurtz's fiancée as seminal scenes in the novella; these scenes have been subject to a wide range of critical interpretations.

Many critics have commented on Conrad's evocative powers in Heart of Darkness, paying particular attention to his use of imagery, which manages to evoke a sinister atmosphere through the accretion of objectively described details of the African jungle and natives.The visual imagery, which heavily depends upon contrasting patterns of light and dark, contributes most appreciably to the consistently ambiguous tone of the work.To demonstrate the moral uncertainty of this world and of life in general, Conrad consistently alters common symbolic conceptions of light and dark.Written in 1899, Heart of Darkness was initially published in serial form in Blackwood's magazine and finally published in book form in Youth: A Narrative, and Two Other Stories (1902). Plot and Major Characters Throughout Conrad's career Heart of Darkness remained one of his most popular and highly regarded works.The novella details the story of the seaman Marlow who, fresh from Europe, is sent on a boat journey up the Congo River to relieve Kurtz, the most successful trader in ivory working for the Belgian government.On the surface it is a dreamlike tale of mystery and adventure set in central Africa; however, it is also the story of a man's symbolic journey into his own inner being.A profusion of vivid details that are significant on both literal and symbolic levels contributes to the ambiguity of Conrad's narrative and has led to conflicting interpretations of its meaning.Prior to their personal encounter, Marlow knows and admires Kurtz through his reputation and his writings regarding the civilizing of the African continent and sets out on the journey excited at the prospect of meeting him.However, Marlow's experience in Africa inspires revulsion at the dehumanizing effects of colonialism, a disgust that culminates when he discovers that Kurtz has degenerated from an enlightened civilizer into a vicious, power-hungry subjugator of the African natives.“In he unconscious mind of each of us, slumber infinite capacities for reversion and crime. 9).” No matter how civilized people are, if they were to be removed from all civilization, and placed into this wilderness of the world, the evil and darkness of their hearts would show through.And our best chance for survival, moral survival, lies in frankly recognizing these capacities (Conrad H.

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