Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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Comment on the colonizer/colonized dichotomy in the novella Heart of Darkness. Provide examples.

The dichotomy between the colonizer and the colonized is one of the primary themes in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and the relationship between these two creates much of the tension and struggle in the narrative. The complexities of this seemingly simple relationship also cause Marlow to become disillusioned with the presence of civilization or "light" on the African continent.

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Perhaps the most intimately explored theme in Heart of Darkness is the relationship between the colonizer and colonized, as well as the cross contamination of culture that occurs when there is such a one-sided and often non-consensual interaction between such radically different populations. Marlow and Kurtz both venture into the Congo under the pretense of "civilizing the population." Of course, the reader knows this to be a pretense and nothing more. The colonists...

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