Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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What does Joseph Conrad infer about "truth" in Heart of Darkness?

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As Charles Marlow and his steamboat crew descend deeper into the African jungle in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, this experienced sea captain grows increasingly cynical regarding his country’s role in Africa.  Imperialism was usually framed in terms of racial, cultural and intellectual superiority over the “savages” and “natives” of whatever territory was targeted for its resources, and those resources, be they diamonds, gold, ivory, or whatever, were the deserved rewards for those strong and courageous enough to take them.  As he journeys down the long, winding Congo River and gets closer and closer to the object of his own personal obsession, the legendary Kurtz , Marlow views firsthand the cost of empire, reflected in his references to the “savages” native to the land (for example, “that complete deathlike indifference of unhappy savages”; “I had to look after the savage who was fireman”; “the glimpse of the steamboat had for some reason filled those...

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