This book is about a dark journey told by Conrad .It focuses on the concept of absolute right and wrong verses situational ethics. This includes behaviors in one’s own society and those of other nationalities and countries.
This novel is based on his personal experience as a merchant, a ship commander in 1890 Congo, Joseph Conrad‘s Heart Of Darkness is a symbolic story of dark journeys taken through Africa, the mind and heart (spirit), the physical, psychological, and spiritual journeys of Protagonist Marlow, the narrator occurs in the content of greedy imperialism imposed by England over Africa in 19th century.
The psyches of racist are that they believe that all people are inferior to them. The European thinks that they are ‘white’. So on this regard; they have a right to rule the world. They have inflicted racism on many like Africans and Asians. They never think what is to like be discriminated on the bases of colour.
As we explore the psyche of the imperialists in eyes of Conrad, we come to know that the British are ‘proud’ of these men like Sir Francis, Sir John Franklin, knights all the great knights-errant of the sea. The nation is happy when come back with the bags full of treasure, taken from Africans. (ivory and Their mineral wealth ). Still today, we see that most of Africans have given their mineral sources, on lease to America. On behalf of this, Americans are earning lots of money and have occupied their mineral resources and poor Africans are getting nothing. This is a modern form of imperialism.
The mind set of the European is just to be ‘powerful’ and to gain power at great extent. When men are in ‘power’, they try to crush the ‘weak’ at their best. We understand by the behavior of these imperialist that white is related with good and black with evil.
They force natives into hard labour simply for profit. Conrad has presented horrible condition of Africans; they take extra labour from them. They are in pain, abandonment and in despair. Heart Of Darkness explores Conrad’s searching of colonial exploitation and symbolic journey to human soul. He discovers the themes of hypocrisy, evil, ambiguity, doubt and meaninglessness. Curiosity is Marlow’s defining characteristics. He wants to explore different parts of the world for this satisfaction. Firstly, he is impressed by Kurtz. Kurtz who represents the imperialists, who is mad to get ivory.
Kurtz is a human with ghostly features. Marlow is obsessed with Kurtz . Marlow’s desire to do good grows as he is plunged into that world. Marlow sees that natives are starved to death and they are suppressed. The natives are bare and imperialists have dressed elegantly to prove their superiority. He sees the things from the eyes of Kurtz, but his discoveries about Kurtz’s characters force him to explore the things by his own and he begins questioning the nature of good and evil. As Kurtz dies. Conrad questions when all men have to meet their common fate, the death, then why men run after wealth, and degrade others.
Heart of Darkness explores the human psyche at great deal. Conrad through his characters, tells us about the motives which force human to act in a certain way. He also tells us that the forces of good and bad exist around us in the form of good and bad men. (Marlow and Kurtz). He also tells us that good and bad exists within ourselves and it’s up to us to choose one of them. He also conveys us the message that one should be able to create one’s own judgment of things, its about one’s own perception of things rather than seeing the world through others eyes.