+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  
 
 
 
 

Essay/Term paper: Heart of darkness 2 (ignorance and racism)

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Heart of Darkness

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Heart Of Darkness: Heart Of Darkness 2 (Ignorance And Racism), you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

11-15-94
EWRT1B

Ignorance and Racism

Joseph Conrad develops themes of personal power, individual responsibility, and
social justice in his book Heart of Darkness. His book has all the trappings of the
conventional adventure tale - mystery, exotic setting, escape, suspense, unexpected attack.
Chinua Achebe concluded, "Conrad, on the other hand, is undoubtedly one of the great
stylists of modern fiction and a good story-teller into the bargain" (Achebe 252). Yet,
despite Conrad's great story telling, he has also been viewed as a racist by some of his
critics. Achebe, Singh, and Sarvan, although their criticisim differ, are a few to name.
Normal readers usually are good at detecting racism in a book. Achebe
acknowledges Conrad camouflaged racism remarks, saying, "But Conrad chose his subject
well - one which was guaranteed not to put him in conflict with psychological pre-
disposition..." (Achebe, 253). Having gone back and rereading Heart of Darkness, but
this time reading between the lines, I have discovered some racism Conrad felt toward the
natives that I had not discovered the first time I read the book. Racism is portrayed in
Conrad's book, but one must acknowledge that back in the eighteen hundreds society
conformed to it. Conrad probably would have been criticized as being soft hearted rather
than a racist back in his time.
Conrad constantly referred to the natives, in his book, as black savages, niggers,
brutes, and "them", displaying ignorance toward the African history and racism towards
the African people. Conrad wrote, "Black figures strolled out listlessly... the beaten nigger
groaned somewhere" (Conrad 28). "They passed me with six inches, without a glance,
with the complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages" (Conrad 19). Achebe, also,
detected Conrad's frequent use of unorthodox name calling, "Certainly Conrad had a
problem with niggers. His in ordinate love of that word itself should be of interest to
psychoanalysts" (Achebe 258).
Conrad uses Marlow, the main character in the book, as a narrator so he himself
can enter the story and tell it through his own philosophical mind. Conrad used "double
speak" throughout his book. Upon arriving at the first station, Marlow commented what
he observed. "They were dying slowly - it was very clear. They were not enemies, they
were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now, nothing but black shadows of disease
and starvation lying confusedly in the greenish gloom" (Conrad 20). Marlow felt pity
toward the natives, yet when he met the station's book keeper he changed his views of the
natives. "Moreover I respected the fellow. Yes. I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his
brushed hair. His appearance was certainly great demoralization of the land he kept up his
appearance" (Conrad 21). Marlow praised the book keeper as if he felt it's the natives'
fault for living in such waste. the bureaucracy only cared about how he looked and felt.
The bookeeper did not care for the natives who were suffering less than fifty feet from
him. He stated the natives weren't criminals but were being treated as if they were, but at
the same time he respected the book keeper on his looks instead of despising him for his
indifference. Conrad considered the Africans inferior and doomed people.
Frances B. Singh, author of The Colonialistic Bias of Heart of Darkness said "The
African natives, victims of Belgian exploitation, are described as 'shapes,' 'shadows,' and
'bundles of acute angles,' so as to show the dehumanizing effect of colonialist rule on the
ruled" (269-270). Another similar incident of "double speak" appeared on the death of
Marlow's helmsman. Marlow respected the helmsman, yet when the native's blood poured
into Marlow's shoes, "To tell you the truth, I was morbidity anxious to change my shoes
and socks" (Conrad 47). How can someone respect yet feel disgusted towards someone?
Singh looks into this question by stating, "The reason of course, is because he (Marlow)
never completely grants them (natives) human status: at the best they are a species of
superior hyena" (Singh 273).
As I have mentioned before, Conrad was not only racist but also ignorant. He
would often mix ignorance with racism when he described the natives. "They howled and
leaped and spun and made horrid faces, but what thrilled you was just the thought of their
humanity - like yours - the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate
uproar. Ugly" (Conrad 35). "The prehistoric man was cursing us, praying to us,
welcoming us - who could tell?" (Conrad 37). The end result of Conrad's ignorance of not
knowing the behavior of African people concluded his division of the social world into
two separate categories: "us," the Europeans, and "them," the Africans. Achebe
concludes Conrad's ignorance towards the natives by stating, "Heart of Darkness projects
the image of Africa as 'the other world,'... a place where man's vaunted intelligence and
ferment are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality" (252).
"Heart of Darkness was written, consciously or unconsciously, from a colonialistic
point of view" (Singh 278). Conrad didn't write his book to the extreme of racism.
Overall, the natives appeared better humans than the Europeans in Heart of Darkness.
Conrad's ignorance led to his conformity to racism. His ignorance of not completely
"granting the natives human status" leads him to social categorization. C. P. Sarvan wrote
in his criticism, quoting Achebe, "Racism and the Heart of Darkness," "Conrad sets up
Africa 'as a foil to Europe, a place of negations... in comparison with which Europe's own
state of spiritual grace will be manifest.' Africa is 'the other world,'..." (281).

Achebe, Chinua [An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness.]
Heart of Darkness. By Joseph Conrad 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New
York: Norton Critical 1988.

Conrad, Joseph Heart of Darkness 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New York:
Norton Critical, 1988.

Sarvan, C. P. [Racism and the Heart of Darkness.] Heart of Darkness. By
Joseph Conrad 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New York: Norton Critical 1988.

Singh, Frances B. [The Colonialistic Bias of Heart of Darkness.] Heart of
Darkness. By Joseph Conrad 3rd ed. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New York: Norton
Critical 1988.


 

Other sample model essays:

Heart of Darkness / Heart Of Darkness 3
11-27-94 Ewrt1B The Horror! In Heart of Darkness it is the white invaders for instance, who are, almost without exception, embodiments of blindness, selfishness, and cr...
Heart of Darkness / Heart Of Darkness Essay
Heart of Darkness Essay (Received an B on this essay, by Idaho's Teacher of the year 1996) It seems like everywhere there is something in life that seems to be left behind. In the books I rea...
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, is an intriguing and extremely disturbing portrayal of man"s surrender to his carnal nature when all external trappings of "civilization" are removed. This nov...
Heart of Darkness / Heart Of Darkness
Daniel Tortora Paper 4 Final Draft Heart of Darkness, a novel by Joseph Conrad, and Apocalypse Now, a movie by Francis Ford Coppola can be compared and contrasted in many ways. By focusing on...
Helios, the Greek sun god, was also known as Sol in Roman mythology. He was the father of Aeets and Circe. He was married to Perseis. He had two sisters, Selene, the goddess of the ...
Ernest Hemingway / Hemingway's In Our Time
Half-way through reading Hemmingway's collection In Our Time I was interrupted by my roommate, George. He wanted to know how I liked the story. He seems to be very impressed that I'm reading Hemmingw...
Hemingway"s Portrayal of Nick"s Consolation Webster"s Dictionary defines comfort as, "to give strength, hope to, or to console" (61). People find strength or consolation in different ways...
Expository Essays / Henry David Thoreau
English Henry David Thoreau The Great Conservationist, Visionary, and Humanist He spent his life in voluntary poverty, enthralled by the study of nature. Two years, in the ...
Shakespeare / Henry IV Redemption
English: Shakespeare October, 5 1996 Redemption In Shakespeare's Henry IV, the character Hal, the Prince of Wales, undergoes a transformation that can be characterize...
Shakespeare / Henry The Fourth
HENRY THE FOURTH ESSAY In the play "Henry the fourth" written by William Shakespeare is triumphant and denial. There is a prince named Hal that does not act like a prince that you think a pr...
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay is excellent. Writer 7135 is excellent. Met all requirements of the paper produce superb work. Thank you for your time and an excellent paper.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Writer 37301 is excellent produces assignments ahead of deadline which provides enough time for review and revisions, and the assignments are done according to rubrics. Excellent
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD