Heart of Darkness Analysis



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In the beginning of the book Marlow had a myopic perspective of the world. His life, just like the lives of many, had its turbulent moments. But turbulence in life is no anomaly because it is omnipresent. The foundation of our species is based off of environmental struggles; survival of the fittest.

With all of the scientific advancements man has made thus far, survival of the fittest should be an obsolete concept. It’s still relevant because people are attached to the material success it has subjectively brought them. Some of those individuals worked hard, played fair, and became successful. The system worked for them because they took advantage of opportunities. Others had to throw someone under the bus to achieve their material success. Social predators, such as Berney Madoff threw millions of people under the bus. Certain politicians and governmental apparatus’ are becoming more powerful at the expense of their own people. Earth is a utopia, but it is rife with greed which is primarily intensifying the struggle of others. Marlow worked as a shipman for the Congo Free State, which became lucrative based of the exploitation of innocent humans.

Success does not empirically exist, it’s simply a state at which one feels satisfaction from some accomplishment (it’s just a word/concept). In countries like America (and Europe I suppose), the importance of material success is emphasized everywhere. Marlow, like everyone else, was a citizen of the Earth. The region he lived in, Britain, was existentially “easy”, no serious environmental perils were present. Africa was diametrically different in terms of existing. Marlow described the indigenous people as “twigs” since they were so malnourished and overworked. As I mentioned earlier; Earth is a utopia, but that original state is defiled when greed is introduced. If all humans and institutions were moral and didn’t rely on unethical tactics to get successful, none of this would have occurred. The Congo Free State and its nefarious practices made Africa dangerous. The primitive people in the depths of the jungle had the impression that all whites were greedy and reprehensible based on their anecdotal experiences with them. They were hostile because the Congo Free State was hostile. The experiences Marlow had in Africa were unprecedented to him or anyone else from England. His overall experience before Africa was just a few misadventures. The greatest information Marlow received was his experience with Kurtz. Marlow was able to see the negative impact Africa had on Kurtz. If he stayed longer, he would have ended up like Kurtz; paranoid and ill. That revelation saved his life.

In this current era, no atrocity tantamount to the Hitler regime or Congo Free State has occurred (911 and the “war on terrorism” are the worst events thus far). However, the frequencies at which these atrocities occur is much higher than it was in the previous generation. Murders, mass shootings, beheadings, widespread theft, and misinformation are occurring too frequently. The main similarity between these egregious acts is greed. Murders occur for a multitude of reasons: insanity, disdain, and greed of course. Usually if someone, who is aware of the consequences of murder, is willing to annihilate another individual, there must be some subjective gain. It could be a material possession like a purse or wallet, or perhaps it’s a feeling of satisfaction by killing someone you envy. On a global level, governments commit the same acts and get away with It since they are at the top of the social hierarchy. Governments can be very cunning when it comes to justifying murder, “we killed 30 people because they killed 10 of ours”. Although that’s a crude example, it’s the same justification each time. The Congo Free State justified enslaving the Africans by saying that they need to be taught a lesson. While millions of Africans were dying from the exploitation of the Congo Free State, Beligum was growing into a financial superpower. Until humanity has a massive paradigm shift and learn from its past mistakes, history will keep repeating itself.

The real political spectrum represents all forms of society from the most ideal to the most abysmal. Currently America is a corpertocracy.

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