What are external and internal conflicts in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad?

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Conrad's Heart of Darkness includes numerous examples of internal and external conflict.

Marlow is hired by the company that also employs Kurtz, their most successful harvester of ivory. Marlow’s job is to travel deep into the Belgian Congo to bring Kurtz home.

Marlow experiences external conflict when he witnesses how horribly the Congolese slaves are treated by white traders, who call those they have enslaved "enemies" and "criminals." His compassion for these poor souls is evident as he observes that they walk chained together at the neck. 

Marlow characterizes the captors as devils:

...but, by all the stars! these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men—men, I tell you.

The quote infers that the whites do not treat those under their charge as human beings, as "men." Marlow struggles with this. He also reacts to the sight of wretched men who are clustered together to rest...

...scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of massacre or...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 823 words.)

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