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Heart of Darkness - Summary

  • Date Submitted: 02/06/2013 11:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.4 
  • Words: 1078
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In An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Achebe tires to convince the readers of the Hear of Darkness that Conrad is racist. “Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of the racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth.” (Achebe, 349) Achebe believes that Conrad’s use of Africa, as a place, a symbol, of evil and darkness as the fulcrum for his novel is racist. But, if one were to read the novel Heart of Darkness, he or she would see that Conrad is the exact opposite. Conrad cannot from an opinion about what is going on in Africa, because he does not understand what is going on. His confusion becomes apparent in his main character, Marlow. Conrad makes his main character, a confused storyteller, an outsider, who accidently travels into a war for national pride, and land. He does not understand why, or what is going on in Africa. Conrad’s inability to from an opinion about what is going on in Africa, and his creation of Marlow make him not racist.
Marlow, Conrad’s main character, is an outsider. The stories that he is telling have no point, they are not meant to be understood, because Marlow does not understand them himself. He is a confused storyteller who is trying to make sense of all that he saw in Africa. Marlow does not understand how the European’s can colonize Africa, because England was colonized by the Romans and was once, “ one of the dark places of the earth.” (Conrad, 5) Marlow is a sailor who considers himself a man of no nationality. Marlow is confused as to what is going on in Africa. He goes into Africa to sail up the river, and finds himself in the middle of a war for national pride. But, since he does not have a nationality, and he is confused as to what is going on, he cannot from an opinion. His inability to form an opinion leads him to poke holes in the European’s justification for colonizing the land.   Their justification for colonizing is that the Africans are different from...

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