Heart Of Darkness Coursework

"Absolute power corrupts", not so much from the power, but from becoming the only judge of your actions.

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Everyone who really knew him revered his opinions and words.

"You don't talk with that man-- you listen to him." (90) All this points to a very moral and upstanding gentleman who follows the edicts of society to the bitter end. He had the heads of "rebels" (97) on posts around his house, staring at his home.

The man we meet deep in the Congo isn't the same man. "He [Kurtz] hated all this, and somehow he couldn't get away." (95) Kurtz had two opposing sensibilities.

The one said that he should leave and return to civilization and his fiancée while escaping the sickness that seemed to pervade that jungle for all Europeans. It was a growl for absolute power over the lives of the natives and also the material want for more ivory. Even at the end of his life when he has been carried onto the ship and is happy to leave, he tries to break away from this decision and return to the jungle.

Such binary oppositions are often employed to create political hierarchies by privileging one half of the binary over the other.

This paper shall seek to analyse the binaries that are created in Heart of Darkness and look at how the author, despite the ambiguity in the anti-imperialist rhetoric that he employs privileges Western (European and English) civilization over African ones.The images used in the novel form a reader’s entry point for a deconstructivist reading of it.In the novel, the images of the African natives are almost completely different from the ones that are used to describe the English and other European natives.Kurtz was first introduced to us as "a first-class agent" (Heart of Darkness, 29) and "a very remarkable person"(29) by the chief accountant.He was shown to be a painter and a poet with "moral ideals" (51) that ruled his life.For instance, in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, the character of Mammy as a signifier is unimportant when compared to the idea of slavery and the stereotype of the subservient black slave, which is the signifier (Mitchell).In certain other cases, the signifier assumes importance.Even though it came out during the nineteenth century, it is counted by most critics as among the first of the modernist novels.This is primarily a consequence of the fact that the notions of time as readers find it in Heart of Darkness is similar to the modernists’.defines chaos theory as the phenomenon of unpredictable and complex dynamic systems that are highly sensitive to small changes in external conditions.In Heart of Darkness, the difference in input is Africa and the absolute power found there.


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