How are the issues of race and imperialism woven into Heart of Darkness?

Race and imperialism are woven into Heart of Darkness in that racism allows the Europeans to maximally exploit the African people under the humanitarian guise of bringing progress, civilization, and Christianity to supposedly backwards Black people.

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Race and imperialism are integral to the plot of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. As protagonist Marlow travels further up the Congo River in search of Kurtz, he becomes increasingly aware of the toll that British imperialism has taken upon the local communities. At the "Outer Station," for example, he sees that the company he works for has forced the African people into working in inhumane conditions. Marlow himself comes to embody his country's racist treatment of African people; when an African helmsman dies during an attack on his boat, Marlow pushes his body into the water in a callous display of the racism inherent in Britain's colonization of Africa.

Eventually Marlow meets Kurtz, who serves as the face of imperial evil in Conrad's tale. Kurtz has abandoned all concern for morality—he has been brutally massacring villagers, stealing their ivory, and putting their heads on stakes as a warning. Despite this savage immorality, some still use racist ideology to justify Kurtz's...

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