How is greed represented in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness?
Greed is portrayed by Conrad as an integral part of the colonial project. It doesn't simply relate to the unscrupulous actions of a handful of greedy individuals; it's part and parcel of what it means to be a European colonialist in Africa. Whatever the Belgians and other colonists might say, they didn't come to Africa to bring the benefits of Western civilization to the poor, "benighted" natives: they came in search of riches. In search of those riches, they will do whatever it takes in order to achieve wealth—however brutal or degrading.
In Heart of Darkness, greed can be observed as corrosive to the soul—undermining whatever high moral standards or elevated notions of civilization the colonialists may have once shared. In one particularly revealing scene, Marlow makes a casual remark about the cannibalism of the men he's hired to help him aboard the ship. Back in England, the very idea of eating human...
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