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A Discussion Comparing The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Tempest by Shakespeare - Essay Example

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The paper contains the comparison of “The Tempest” and “Heart of Darkness”. Of particular interest to the author of the essay is the fact that both authors, who seem to be both defending and questioning the imperialistic ideas of Britain and its treatment of the slaves. …
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A Discussion Comparing The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Tempest by Shakespeare
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Download file to see previous pages  “The Tempest” and “The Heart of Darkness” are the most striking adventurer novels to ever be found in the literature. The fact that both novels are written by notable American and British authors only increases the desire to read and compare the side of the book by side. While British playwright William Shakespeare wrote “The Tempest” as a play, British novelist Joseph Conrad wrote “The Heart of Darkness” as a straightforward novel. A number of similarities in the storyline and depiction of themes between the two will become quite evident once one reads the stories from beginning to end.

To begin with, the story of colonialism is an important theme in both stories. Joseph Conrad depicted a meeting of two worlds in “The Heart of Darkness”. He portrayed the advanced European society in a negative light as colonizers while the South Africans were considered primitive and as such, ripe for colonization. Conrad wishes to express through his novel that there are certain races of people who need to be saved from themselves due to their lack of culture. In this case, the South African difference from the White occupiers meant that they were not “civilized”. Their differing cultures and traditions made one race view themselves as better than the other.

The depiction of the South Africans as “savages” leaves a clear understanding for the viewer that the new arrivals in the country did not even bother to try and get to know the culture and traditions of the natives before passing judgment upon them. Take for example following quote from the book: “Mistah Kurtz—he dead. Catch ’im,’ he snapped with a bloodshot widening of his eyes and a flash of sharp teeth—‘catch ’im. Give ’im to us.’ ‘To you, eh?’ I asked; ‘what would you do to them?’ ‘Eat ’im!’ he said curtly” (341). Thus showing how the occupiers believed the Africans to be uneducated and cannibals because of the way they spoke and acted.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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