Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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Category: Literature

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The short passage written by Joseph Conrad expressed through narration his impression of Africa. The narrator in the story was Marlow. In one part of the story, Marlow recounts his experiences as he was journeying up the Congo River. The images used in the story depict a downbeat mood. The Congo River reminded him of the prehistoric times when nature thrived the earth. It was situated in close proximity to deep and eerie forests, where dangerous creatures lurked. The forests were unwelcoming and the waters flowed in no particular direction.

Marlow though the place to be disconnected from the real world saying, ¦you thought yourself bewitched and cut off forever from everything you had known once. These images imply differences between the worldview of European and African culture, because of how they see Africa. The African people see the forests as their home and their land. It is their most priceless possession from where their culture is deep-rooted. It is their way of life. The European views African lands as undeveloped. There is a need for civilization, and there is a need to eliminate the barbaric way of life.

Conrad sees no ecstasy in the wealth of the African people. There is no pleasure, he says, in the unscathed forests and streams. There is nothing precious about it. However, the African people see their ancestral land as a jewel where they can be free observing their culture and their preferred way of life. It is not uninvolved with the world, but it is one with the earth because its people enjoy its native and inborn fruitfulness as it is. The African people obtain their food from hunting in the forest, and they hide in the forest to protect themselves from the enemy. The stream is their source of life.

Metaphorically speaking, the images illustrated in the passage also criticize the culture of the African people as dark and untamed. Marlow reminisced, ¦it came in the shape of an unrestful and noisy dream, remembered with wonder amongst the overwhelming realities of this strange world of plants, and water, and silence. However, in the eyes of the African people, their culture identifies who they are as individuals and who they are as a group of people. The two images aforementioned clearly define a line that divides the worldviews of the European people and the African people.

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