heart of darkness

Essay by jmb09gCollege, UndergraduateB+, June 2014

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James Beyers

ENL 4132

June 5, 2014

In the Heart of Darkness the white imperialists who have colonized Africa are the ones who embody 'blindness'. Throughout the novella, there are many themes that deal with 'mapping' or inscribing certain bodies of occupied territories or physical bodies of the natives. These inscriptions that are implanted on the other bodies are from a Eurocentric and blindly one sided point of view. Thus, through the journey up the river, and through the character of 'Kurtz' and other bodies, Conrad explains to us the detrimental effects of the ethnocentric imperialistic expansion of England throughout Africa.

Through their blindsided, ethnocentric point of view, the Colonists deem themselves superior to the natives of Africa; and feel as if they are destined to spread their imperialistic views throughout the world due to their superiority. Early in the novella, the blindness and ethnocentricity can be viewed from Marlow's aunt when right before Marlow leaves to set sell to Africa she says, "Wean those ignorant millions from their horrid ways" (18).

The Europeans were solely there for means of profit by collecting ivory throughout Africa. They are blinded as to their justification of imperialism by assuming that they are superior and thus justified in their expansion throughout the new territories. Like Marlow's aunt, many of the Europeans, through the practiced disciplines of imperialism, were living in docile bodies- adhering to the horrific expansion of their empire- no matter if it was at the expense of innocent others throughout the world.

Conrad begins to show us, through the body of Marlow, the horrors of the expansion of the European influence. As he ventures deeper into Africa Marlow, blinded at first, begins to become illuminated to the atrocities of the imperialistic agenda. We see this when he begins to...