The Heart of Darkness: The Paradox Of Imperialism In The 19th Century

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The Heart of Darkness: The Paradox Of Imperialism In The 19th Century

Colonialism marks one of many countries’ common denominators. Needless to say, the foundation of colonialism was imperialism, which quite a large number of scholars have explored in varied works of literature. While numerous scholars have covered it, none explores the topic more critically than Joseph Conrad in his book that goes by the title,  “The Heart of Darkness”.

“The Heart of Darkness” is essentially an overview or outline of the adventures of an ivory transporter in the African country named Congo. In the course of his voyage, Marlow gets to know about Kurtz, an ivory-trading agent. He becomes particularly interested in the varied aspects of his business and especially the manner in which he dealt with the native Africans. Of particular interest (and surprise) to Marlow is the impunity with which the varied Europeans dealt on the Africans, all in an effort to fulfill their selfish desires (Conrad 34).

Joseph Conrad has undoubtedly brought out the element of paradox through the analysis of the imperialism subjected on the Africans. He brings out an overview of the costly nature of imperialism, more so with regard to the African invasion. According to Conrad, conquest brought in a relatively low amount of returns in comparison with the capital that was used to make the invasion possible. This simply shows that the results of the invasion did not really justify it or justify the strategies that were used in pursuing the objectives. The literature incorporates varied notions pertaining to the absurd attempts that detail how acquiring resources from Africa vindicated the effort that was placed in acquiring them. The Paradox of imperialism in “The Heart of Darkness” is clearly depicted by the manner in which Europeans treat African natives.

First, it is worth noting that Kurtz believed that he was bringing civilization to Africans, which was undoubtedly a white lie. Africans conceived him as a god, a notion that he cemented through the use of intimidation and threats. It is worth noting that the intimidation was aimed at scaring the African natives into bringing or supplying Kurtz the valuable stones and metals. Initially, Kurtz was had come to Africa in an effort to satisfy his immense desire for adventure.  He essentially aimed at improving, instructing, as well as humanizing, which he had outlined in the first report that he made to the company. However, he got rid of his philanthropic intentions after recognizing the amount of power that he could potentially hold in the jungle. He essentially created the impression that he was a supreme ruler, an indomitable being and a god among the common people or natives. This is essentially an indication of the excuse that Europeans used in introducing colonialism and imperialism to Africa. Initially, they created the impression that Africans would benefit more from them through civilization and an introduction of modernity. However, it turns out that they merely used this as a white.............


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