Heart of Darkness Essay

Jennifer Prouty Heart of Darkness Essay What matters to someone may be meaningless to others, or a view a person has may be totally different from another person. What does this mean? Views, although on the same subject, may differ. This reasoning is evident in Joseph Conrads novella Heart of Darkness. Different views of the wilderness are one of the apparent themes in the story. The different views of the wilderness serve two purposes. The first is to familiarize the reader with the popular beliefs and opinions of the time the piece was written. The second purpose was to allow the reader to realize that the wilderness symbolized something deeper. The first of the three views of the wilderness was that of civilized Europeans. The Europeans, like Marlows aunt, thought of people that lived in the jungle as uncivilized and savage. As being the white, superior, civilized race, they believed that it was their duty and decree from God to civilize unfortunate peoples. For example, Marlow narrates, It appeared, however, I was also one of the Workers, with a capital- you know. Something like a lower sort of apostle. There had been a lot of such rot let loose in print and talk just about that time, and the excellent woman, living right in the rush of all that humbug, got carried off her feet. She talked about weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways, till, upon my word, she make me quite uncomfortable. I ventured to hint that the Company was run for profit. Because Marlows aunt listened to the popular views of the time, she thought that the reason Marlow was going on his excursion was to be a philanthropist. The second view deals with economy. Africa had beneficial prospects. Not only did it have free slave labor, but also it had ivory. To many in the novel, like the Belgians in the outer station, Africa was seen as a cheap place to make money. Marlow describes…

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