Text Analysis

Essay by valentinasarrecchiaHigh School, 10th grade June 2014

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The chain-gang

Heart of darkness

Text analysis

In this passage Marlow isn't very active: at the beginning he's just watching the scene without doing anything at all; then he gives the native a biscuit. Even if it noticeable the stereotype of the black man (E.G. when he can't tell his age because he has dark colored skin). The narrator also defines himself not particularly tender, but it is clear how disgusting and unfair the living conditions and the way natives are treated seem to the author: they are forced to work for the whites and are cruelly exploited. they even chain them together using iron collars, which made them lose their dignity. A very detailed description of how the natives look after this inhuman treatment follows.

The narrator later states they now are "nothing but black shadows of decease and starvation". They are treated like criminals, but they didn't commit any crime the relationship between the natives and the white colonizers is obviously based on slavery but the way Marlow describes it when he writes "the product of new forces at work" doesn't actually represent it.

This sentence might make the reader assume they have a sort of contract or at least they get paid, but the previous description clearly shows what their working conditions are.

At the end of the passage Marlow meets the Company's chief, who's described as a sedentary man who takes care of his physical aspect (which is in contrast with the demoralization of the land). This probably represent the greatest paradox of the novel. The indifference produced by the habit doesn't even make the Company's chief notice the natives dying even if he's standing where Marlow is, not giving a thing about the poor blacks.

Even if he's the leader of the company, Marlow does...