Is The Heart Of Darkness Racist?

852 words - 3 pages

Duron 1Rozalyn DuronNovember 14th, 2013Becker, Honors EnglishPeriod 1Is Heart of Darkness Indeed, Racist?Throughout the novella of Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad, Marlow, the main character of the story, goes through idolizing Kurtz. Kurtz is a man who had come to Africa to civilize the Africans, but as the novella goes on, the audience sees him almost change entirely. In correspondence, Achebe wrote the book Things Fall Apart. His story is also centered in the heart of Africa, but this time, from the African's point of view. The story Heart of Darkness can be viewed in many different ways, but in Achebe's Criticisms of Heart of Darkness, it is clearly portrayed that Heart of Darkness is a racist and biased book.Furthermore, Conrad's diction makes a big impact on what Achebe's criticisms lean towards. When describing the Africans, he used very negative context. "... What thrilled you was just the thought of humanity-like ours" claiming they are not human-- "the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly."(Achebe Paragraph 13) --calling their kinship, ugly. By analyzing just this one simple quote, a lot of racism is already portrayed. He is practically referring to the Africans as some sort of species that is not human. He also calls their kinship "ugly". He vividly uses not only diction, but imagery as well to examine his inner thoughts of Africans throughout the story. "He ought to have been clapping his hands" like an animal, "… and stamping his feet on the back, instead of which he was hard at work, a thrall to strange witchcraft, full of improving knowledge."(Achebe Chapter 15), calling him ignorant. Insofar, it is obvious how Conrad has portrayed the Africans to his audience. Not only through Conrad's diction, has he represented the Africans in an animal-like quality, but he has also practically detonated their presence of having a mind and voice of their own. Only twice does an African speak, in a book that is apparently about Africa. "Catch 'im. Give 'im to us."(Conrad Pg. 41) Here, broken English is used. Conrad is showing how the Africans could not even communicate with the European's because they were so ignorant and so different. "Mistah Kurtz - he dead." (Conrad Pg. 64) Yet again, another example of broken English is portrayed to the reader. Here, the Africans are only to speak because they are given a direct job to do so. Notice, they are not given names, nor even a proper job title. By Conrad using very negative connotation...

Find Another Essay On Is the Heart of Darkness Racist?

The Heart of Darkness Essay

896 words - 4 pages Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness portrays the soul of man as evil, to him the heart is a dark place filled with malcontent. The heart of man is not naturally evil; man is sick, and sick people do bad things. The appearance of man in an outward form suggests evil intent; however, this is just the byproduct of a spiritual war that is being waged for man’s soul. Just as when a man is sick and he lashes out from pain; humanity is doing the same

Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness" Essay

3055 words - 12 pages become obvious in the struggle Marlow faces in trying to arrive at Kurtz. Marlow speaks of all the treacherous situations he comes across. Marlow overhears how the savages harbor these immense misfortunes to the white men. This passage also reflects the idea of a civilized and an uncivilized people. The heart of darkness is referring to the natives and their home, the Congo. The descriptions in the final chapter are conceivably some of the most

The Darkness Of Man's Heart

1049 words - 4 pages Is man born basically good and then acquire evil from society, or is man born basically evil and then learn values and decency from society? Is it one's psyche that tells him that injuring a fellow human being is wrong; or is it the society around him? William Golding's view of this question is displayed in his famous novel The Lord of the Flies. In this novel, Golding uses specific passages to reveal certain elements of his theme. He uses the

The Other in The Heart of Darkness

2506 words - 10 pages sympathetic towards the Africans, when reading Heart of Darkness through a post colonial lens, and examining the representations of racial minorities Conrad can be viewed as a racist through his negative representations of the blacks. A post-colonial reading practice is grounded in colonial experiences outside of Europe and the consequences and impact of colonialism, revolving around the idea of "the other", with a focus on racial representations

The Descriptiveness of Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1367 words - 5 pages Heart of Darkness was written by Joseph Conrad in 1902. Before it was published it appeared in a 3-part series in Blackwood’s magazine. The story tells of a detailed incident when Marlow who takes over the assignment of the captain of a ferry-boat travels into the darkness. He was employed by the Belgian Trading company. Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver; however while doing his job, he comes across a person called Kurtz to whom he

Imperialism and the Heart of Darkness

1374 words - 5 pages injustice and horror is vividly captured in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, where the darkness and pure evil of humanity comes to life. While following the journey of Marlow, the protagonist, the readers travel into the depths of not only Africa, but of the human soul, where heartless acts take place. Heart of Darkness is much more than a work of pure fiction; it’s a recording based on the horrible, historical truth. What, exactly, is imperialism

The Waste Land and Heart of Darkness

848 words - 4 pages Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad influenced the 20th century with its commentary on racism in society and the emptiness of human kind. The novel influenced T.S. Eliot through commentary on human kind and the influence can be found in his poems The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. The savagery of the human race is the main focus of Heart of Darkness. T.S. Elliot understands human kind as a primitive state that, in its most simple form, is a

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

1786 words - 7 pages slavery, torture, and suffering within those posts. The darkness is also another theme, hence the title of the book, "Heart of the Darkness". It had many meanings to it, since most of the settings were described as gloomy and somehow dark, especially scenes of cruelty or loneliness. It also means the incapability to see. Failing to see others means to become incapable to develop a connection with another being, or to understand each other. Throughout

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

761 words - 3 pages savagery by a dark, alienated jungle. According to Conrad, the will to give into the uncivilized man does not just reside Kurtz alone. Every man has inside himself a heart of darkness. This heart is drowned in a bath of light shed by the advent of civilization. No man is an island, and no man can live on an island without becoming a brutal savage. Inside his heart lies the raw evil of untamed lifestyles.

Ecocriticism and The Heart of Darkness

761 words - 3 pages elements in Heart of Darkness. The mysterious wilderness envelopes the book’s characters in a fog of confusion and danger, while falling prey to its power. Nature is everywhere in this story, that lets nature affect almost every aspect of this story. Marlow, Kurtz, and all of the other characters react to nature differently. Some thrive in it, and some perish. Works Cited Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Dover Publications, 1990. Print. Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: an Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009. Print.

Close To The Heart Of Darkness

1433 words - 6 pages Close to the Heart of Darkness (a close reading of a passage from the novel) The passage from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness that I am going to examine is a turning point in the novel. The main character, Marlow, and together with him the reader finally arrive at the rim of darkness. Throughout the pervious pages of the novel, there have been hints of the futility, ruthlessness, and absurdity of life at the frontier of the civilized world

Similar Essays

Conrad's Heart Of Darkness Is Not A Racist Work

1183 words - 5 pages Conrad's Heart of Darkness is Not a Racist Work Since the publication of Heart of Darkness in 1899, the text has invited both praise and criticism. While some have claimed it is a work ahead of it’s time in it’s criticism of European colonialist practices, others have criticized the text in it’s portrayal of the native African’s. Achebe, Singh, and Sarvan are just a few to name, and although their criticisms differ, they have labeled many

Conrad V. Achebe: Is Conrad A Racist In The Heart Of Darkness?

1712 words - 7 pages literature, and although it is usually overlooked, it is impossible to begin studying Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness without stumbling upon Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa. In his article, Achebe asserts that Conrad "was a thoroughgoing racist" and uses references to the text in conjunction with his own commentary to prove this thesis. Conrad's text may not be immortalized as the most politically-correct text of the century, but one must

Heart Of Darkness A Reform Piece Or Racist Trash?

1398 words - 6 pages presented, and with them, the views of literary critic C. P. Sarvan who wrote in response to Achebe's allegations.   When reading Heart of Darkness for the first time, one is struck by Conrad's language. Conrad's frequent use of racial epithets coupled with his description of the natives make Conrad look like a racist. This is the thrust of Achebe's argument. Achebe argues that Conrad's description of natives as "limbs and rolling eyes"8

"Heart Of Darkness": The Darkness Essay

1381 words - 6 pages Images of Darkness, in the novel "Heart of Darkness" represent the savagery that takes over one's soul; it can be delayed but never stopped, and no one is safe from it. This is shown through many characters and images in this novel. Kurtz, the Accountant, and the Pilgrims are all symbols that show how the darkness has turned them into savages. Marlow, the harlequin, and the idea of work all show that the darkness can be delayed from getting your
Aesthetics and Inner Beauty - 310 Words | Ares - Der letzte seiner Art (2016) | Grund Jacken