The historical contextual reflection portrayed within Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

Essay by gimbleHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2007

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What have you learnt about the influence of Belgian colonialism in the African Congo during the late nineteenth century? How is this historical context reflected in Conrad's novella, "Heart of Darkness"?

During the Late Nineteenth Century, the African Congo had come to be devastatingly controlled and ruled by its private colonization through King Leopold II, Belgium's King at the time. Leopold attempted to establish many colonies outside the country during his time as King, and he eventually, through the approval of other countries, did so right throughout the African Congo. Through the Establishment of his "Congo Free State", Leopold had promised to eliminate Slavery of the natives, encourage free trade, bring aide to create some sort of infrastructure and to domesticate and civilize the Congo area and people. In Reality though, Controversy spread throughout Europe as it became noticed that in reality, Leopold's hold on the Congo was deliberately causing Slave Exploitation, Rape, Abuse and Murder all for the cause of monetary profits for the Rubber, Ivory and Logging Trades.

An example of this European backlash upon the Congo Free State is the Politically attacking Novella, Heart of Darkness, By Joseph Conrad. Throughout this text, the historical context of the Free State is clearly portrayed, and through various styles, Conrad makes certain his Point of View upon them. These Include the use of Extended Metaphors and Symbolism, both aimed at delivering a certain point across to the Victorian Audience that Conrad had intended.

King Leopold assumed the Belgium Throne in 1865, as the successor to his father. He had believed that in order for a country to be successful, it was necessary that it had acquired Colonial Territory. Both the Belgium Government and citizen's did not the see the value within this idea, and King Leopold therefore attempted to...