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RACE ETHNICITY in Heart of Darkness At the turn of the 19th century European imperialism even though racist and corrupt was viewed as a crusade worthy of this century of progress Introduction to Heart of Darkness Robert Hampson pg20 by King Leopold of Belgium Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad reflects the colonial attitudes of that time in relation to the black Africans who are commonly viewed and described as primitive and inferior and are marginalised in many different ways Before Africans are even introduced in the story they are discriminated against through the negative associations bestowed upon the setting of Africa - their home After appearing in the narrative the Africans inferiority is confirmed through the Europeans adverse portrayal of them demeaning and belittling them They are further marginalised through being denied the privilege or right to speak creating a very one-sided story disabling the Africans views and ideas They are perceived through the eyes of the main character Marlow a white European who through a frame narrator has a positive and favourable personality presented to the readers Therefore by also comparing the Africans to Europeans both physically and intellectually the natives are further reduced to lesser-beings Before even being presented with Marlows rather discriminatory approach to the Africans readers are faced with the word darkness in the title Heart of Darkness Through gaps and silences as readers are aware where the story is set this title is related to Africa with darkness insinuating all degrees of negativity towards the African continent and therefore assuming also the African people Many of the connotations of darkness such as ignorance stupidity primitive natures evil and death are later reinforced through the events which occur during Marlows adventure and from his strong point of view At the very beginning of the narrative even before he has reached the continent Marlow is apprehensive about Africa describing its huge
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