In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, discuss Marlow’s attitudes toward the natives. What do they mean to him?
When King Leopold II of Belgium established a colony in the African Congo, he proclaimed it was for humanitarian reasons—he wanted to enlighten the natives. While there was mention of bringing Christianity to them—and he even allowed Protestant missionaries to travel and live in the Congo—Leopold was motivated only by sheer greed.
When Marlow travels into the Congo, the Company has hired him to retrieve Kurtz, one of their best agents in securing ivory—in fact, there is some jealousy expressed toward Kurtz by others because no one can compete with the amount of ivory he exports from the Inner Station.
For Marlow, this begins simply as an assignment. He has never traveled to this part of the world before. Though there is some foreshadowing by the captain that takes Marlow to the Lower Station, nothing could prepare him for the way the white men are...
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