Heart Of Darkness

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade December 2001

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Question #1 The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a symbolic novella in which the reader is forced to ponder challenging questions. In an essay entitled "The Colonialistic Bias of Heart of Darkness"�, Frances Singh writes, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that Heart of Darkness is one of the most powerful indictments of colonialism ever written"� (Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, 268). Chinua Achebe, in contrast, has labeled the book an "offensive and deplorable one in which "they very humanity of black people is called into question"� (Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, 259). Both writers have points, which is the position of this paper to agree with. One can clearly find the slashes against colonialism, and racist remarks countless times throughout the book.

Joseph Conrad's original name was Teodor Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski, but around 1890 he changed it to sound more English. He was born in Russian-occupied Poland and stayed there until the age of sixteen.

This is one explanation as to why Joseph Conrad's novel is such a powerful indictment of colonialism. Frances B Singh suggest this in his essay saying, "why this is so can be explained by reference to Conrad's own life. As a child Conrad was a victim of Russia's colonistic policies toward Poland's"� (Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, 268). This is just one example of Conrad's disagreement with the way the British nation extended its control over African dependencies.

It is not just Joseph Conrad's background that suggests his disagreements with colonialism. There are many examples throughout his novel. One is simply the title "Heart of Darkness"�. In the title Conrad is explaining the evil inside of the Europeans when colonizing. Then the title is used within the novel. "The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had...