Books and Movies Reviews

Heart of Darkness

The era of imperialism was a time of expansion for Europe. European colonization took place all around the world. As many cons there were to colonization such as trade and expansion of territory, what we believe today is morally wrong was not even brought into consideration. The Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad, illustrates the evils of European colonization, mostly concerning slavery and their torture.
Heart of Darkness is the story of a 32 year old man, Charlie Marlow, and his voyage up the Congo River. He pilots a steamboat sent to relieve Kurtz, an ivory trader for the company. Kurtz is described as a universal genius and began his work in the Congo as part of a virtuous mission, and sets himself up to be a god to the natives. When Marlow arrives, he is shocked to see how the Europeans have treated the natives.
What makes Heart of Darkness more than an interesting travelogue and shocking account of horrors is the way it details in subtle ways Marlow's gradual understanding of what is happening in this region of the world. Like many Europeans, Marlow longed for adventure. But once he arrived in the Congo and saw the terrible work taking place, he could no longer hide under the cover of his comfortable civilization. Instead, all of the horrors perpetrated by European traders and agents forced him to look into his own soul and find what darkness lies there. Marlow states in the beginning of the novel, "The essentials of this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach."(Conrad 53) But by the end of his journey, he will have discovered the inhumanity of which even men such as Kurtz are capable.
The end of the nineteenth-century brought about one of the most notable examples of imperialism and genocide in modern memory. King Leopold II of Belgium possessed an insatiable greed for money, land, and power. He looked to Africa to find these things. Eventually, Leopold secured the Congo region of …


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