Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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The main theme of the novel Heart of Darkness is otherness. How did Marlow deal with this subject? How did Marlow deal with Africans, as they are the "others."

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Marlow gradually becomes disillusioned by the whole imperial project as a result of his experiences in the Congo. He'd never really thought about imperialism before, but now that he's had a chance to witness its appalling consequences at first hand, he can see that it's based on exploitation, suffering, and terror. Due to his experiences, Marlow comes to see the indigenous population as human beings rather than unlettered savages, as the colonial authorities see them. In empathizing with the native Africans, Marlow himself becomes, to a certain extent, an "other," set apart as he is from the warped value system of the white men he encounters.

Yet there is ultimately a limit as to what Marlow can do. He can alleviate the suffering of individual Africans, such as when he gives a young African slave something to eat. But what he cannot do—what no man can do on his own—is change the cruel system of exploitation that causes such unimaginable misery. Marlow may not have much in common with...

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