Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness - Kevin Cuddihy Professor Adas 20th...

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Kevin Cuddihy Professor Adas 20 th Century Civilization 9/20/11 The Heart of Darkness Study Questions 1 . Through Marlowe’s narrative what does Conrad tell us about the highly essentialized views of Europeans towards Africa and Africans (and other colonized peoples?) at the beginning of the twentieth century: That the natives were uncivilized and needed to be saved. a) Are these attitudes views racist? What does that mean? These views are racist because they are justified by the White Man’s Burden, which states that is the White Man’s Burden to civilize the poor people and the poor people were never white. Thought the true reasons for imperialism were for economic and military profit, leaders at the time could justify imperialism as an attempt to civilize the world, similar to how the United States justifies military excursions in the name of democracy. b) How are Africa and its peoples positioned in time and space? In the past, Marlowe often relates the natives of Africa to the natives of England prior to Roman invasion. c) In what ways was this assessment used to rationalize conquest and resource exploitation by industrialized European countries? Rudyard Kipling created the White Man’s burden, suggesting that it is the responsibility of white men to help these poor people whether they want the help or not. Rulers, such as Leopold, would use this ideology to justify their imperialism. Leopold once stated that his ivory gathering in the Congo was not to gain profit but to “was not to make a profit, but to rescue these benighted people from their indolence”. The belief that it is the white man’s responsibility, even if the help is refused, justifies eliminating rebellions in the colonized areas. 2. Drawing on specific incidents in Marlowe’s account of his journey up the Congo river and
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course HISTORY 506:201 taught by Professor Adas during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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Heart of Darkness - Kevin Cuddihy Professor Adas 20th...

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