Heart of Darkness
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is concerned with the progression of the black man from barbarism to civilization. The Thames River symbolizes the entrance to civilization as it leads to and from London which is the civilized city. The author is against colonialism because this is a way of tapping the weakness of other people. Colonialism is indeed dread and evil, and this is the reason to why the author decided to use the word darkness which denotes both dread and evil. The main characters in the Heart of Darkness who depict colonialism and civilization include Marlow and Kurtz. Kurtz is a colonist because he exploits the black people’s weakness, while Marlow is against Kurtz which is evident as he wants him to back to Europe. However, the natives praise Kurtz because they think that everything he does is for their benefit. Once Kurtz departs from the land of the black people the natives will achieve civilization and lead better lives.
This work is highly political in the sense that the white people have more power than the blacks. Kurtz is seen collecting ivory in unethical way by inciting the natives to violence because he has authority over them. The natives do not realize that Kurtz is exploiting them, but they are seen worshiping and praising him. He does not want to leave the land of the black man because of his desire to continue exploiting them. The Heart of Darkness shows how colonialism enhances racism and deteriorating traditional culture due to assimilation. The death of Kurtz signified the end of colonialism and therefore leaves the black man to govern themselves and become civilized.
This story is interesting because it shows how the evil white men perish to give the black man freedom. The death of Kurtz symbolizes the end of the white man’s governance over the natives as he leaves the natives unexploited. The black natives are unaware of the white man’s evil side and continue to worship and praise him. Colonialism does not give room for civilization and instead, it enhances racism and exploitation of the weaker culture due to assimilation. However, Marlow is a white man who does not want the black man to undergo the maltreatment by the whites as he requires Kurtz to leave for Europe.