Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness book cover
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I have to write a 12 page essay about the colonization in the Heart of Darkness. Does anyone have an idea for a thesis on an essay this long? The paper has to be of academic proficiency and I'm hoping she wants an explicit thesis statement, but I'm not sure. I've never had to write a paper quite this long and the teacher is very unhelpful.

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lynnebh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since your assignment is quite lengthy, you might consider forming your thesis statement around colonization and how it is integral to the theme in Heart of Darkness. This way, you will be able to bring in scholarly historical research regarding colonization by Great Britain in the Congo. Conrad wrote this novel based on his own experience in the Congo, observing colonization and, in his mind, the evils associated with British imperialism. So, your thesis could be something like:

Britain’s goal to expand its overseas empire often had a negative impact on the colonized country. Joseph Conrad conveys the negative impact British imperialism had on groups and individuals in the Congo in his novel Heart of Darkness.

You would then explore the terrible way Africans are treated in the novel, the attitude towards them by the "company men", etc. The "dark" imagery used in this novel exposes the evils of colonization, so your paper would include a detailed discussion of this. Be sure that the paper contains the proper mix of historical fact as it relates to your thesis. Remember that this is a paper for a literature class. It's easy to get too bogged down on the historical and neglect the literary aspects.

The text of the novel is available at the link below. A good summary of colonization in the Congo is availalbe at the link below. An analysis of the novel is available at enotes (see link). There is a lot of information online regarding this novel if you do some additional digging.

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