Heart Of Darkness

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade May 2001

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Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is a dark tale concerning the scientific revolution of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Heart of Darkness takes place along the Congo River, which runs through Africa. During Conrad's time imperialistic powers of outside nations were trying to divvy up Africa. Conrad used his ideals about modern beliefs to create his extravagate novel Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness is a dark novel focusing on many different levels of society. However, there is one topic discussed in Heart of Darkness, which is of profound interest, imperialism.

One hundred years ago Africa was divided into some 40 pieces of territory by European nations. These European countries came into Africa bringing with them their new age ideals. The 10 million square miles, making up the African continent, was split into pieces reeking havoc on some 100 million African natives. The European countries never considered what affect territories would have on these natives.

All the white chauvinists involved in terrorizing Africa were only thinking about making money. Ivory, found through the fleecing of Africa, made the European leaders see dollar signs. These European nations didn't care one bit who got in their way while they were mining for ivory. Unfortunately the African people were stuck in the middle; these innocent people are still suffering the consequences of imperialism.

Conrad used historical events that took place in Africa during the European invasion in a very simplistic manner to make his novel Heart of Darkness touch the hearts of his readers, no matter when his novel was read in history. Conrad uses Marlow, the narrator, to convey his ideas about imperialism. One important characteristic of imperialistic belief that is conveyed through the eyes of Marlow, is why imperialism fails. First, imperialism causes people to...