An Analysis of Orientalism in Heart of Darkness

  •  HUANG Min    


The world is commonly divided into the West and the East, two parts that are inherently not alike in many aspects but are tied in one way or another. However, the clash between the two led to the superiority of European powers and hence created a point of view from which Western imperialists understood the Orient and the relation they had with it. Edward Said gave the term “Orientalism” to refer to this mode of representation of the Orient from Western imperial powers’ imagination, while Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a novella that is exactly centered around the interplay between colonialist and natives from the colonial viewpoint, or in other words, their Orientalist prism. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad shows much sympathy for Africans’ suffering and harsh condemnation of the imperialism. However, at the same time he unwittingly assumes sort of Western White’s superiority and commits the myth of imperialistic ideology by distorting the images of African land as wild, dark, barbarous, mysterious and backward, African people as barbaric, savagery, greedy and primitive while African culture as wicked and horrible.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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