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Colonization and Heart of Darkness is the author for or against it - Essay Example

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Colonization and Heart of Darkness is the author for or against it Heart of Darkness, the renowned literary work by Joseph Conrad is based upon the author’s personal experience (say, voyage) in Congo. To be specific, one can easily identify the author’s unending interest towards adventurous life, especially voyage to unknown places, is the key element behind his literary works…
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Colonization and Heart of Darkness is the author for or against it

Download file to see previous pages... Thesis statement: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness proves that the author is against colonization because the underlying theme is anti-colonial/sympathy towards the victims of colonization (say, the Africans) (special references to the autobiographical elements in the work). Author’s view on colonization First of all, the theme of the work Heart of Darkness is interconnected with the author’s growth and development from a teenager (deeply interested in geography, maps and adventurous life) to a mariner. Within this context, his voyage to Congo changed his attitude towards colonization and its consequences. To be specific, voyage to the Dark Continent (Africa), especially to Congo, helped Conrad to realize the drawbacks of colonization, forced labor and slavery. Marlow states that “Strings of dusty niggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depth of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory” (46). In the novel, the undercurrent of sadness and helplessness leads the author to be pessimistic towards life and human values. His voyage to Congo helped him to realize the anti-human aspects of colonizers who considered the African continent as the source of raw materials and slaves, not as a society throbbing with life. Later, Conrad recollected his experiences in Congo and utilized the protagonist as his mouthpiece to communicate with the readers. To be specific, his development from an adventurous teenager to a mature individual who can differentiate the drawbacks of colonization forced him to a pessimistic towards life. From a different angle of view, his deep involvement in Polish Nationalist Movement in his later life can be evaluated as his protest against colonization. Within this context, one can easily identify that the author is totally against colonization and his work can be considered as the protest against colonization and it’s far reaching consequences. Autobiographical elements As pointed out, Conrad is the speaker (say, narrator-protagonist, Marlow) and his voyage to Congo in the year 1889 is portrayed in the work. To be specific, in his real life, Conrad decided to travel to the heart of Africa (Congo). So, he decided to seek the help of one of his relatives, namely, Aleksander Poradowski. Later, Conrad came to know that his relative was dead and decided to seek the help of Poradowski’s widow (Marguerite). With her help, Conrad was able to be the commander of a Belgian steam boat which voyaged to Congo. At that time (in 1890s), Congo was under Belgium, especially under King Leopold II. Within this context, trade relation with Congo and Belgium was based upon Belgian colonization in Congo by King Leopold II. In his work, Conrad did not give emphasize to the drawbacks of imperialism or colonization but provided ample importance to his own experience in Congo. Through the character Marlow, Conrad portrayed the hardships faced by the people of Congo under the Belgian colonization. Marlow makes clear that “They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages” (43). Within this context, one can easily identify that Marlow (say, the protagonist) represents the author’s firsthand experience in Con ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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