Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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What is the external conflict in Heart of Darkness?

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There are a number of external conflicts in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. A primary one is the conflict between the traders from The Company and the people in the Congo. The Congolese people are brutally forced into slavery by The Company, and they rebel in turn, mounting attacks against their colonizers. These physical manifestations of colonial violence are a clear example of external conflict.

Another example is that Marlowe comes into conflict with The Company in a number of ways, resulting in his refusal to hand over Kurtz's papers after his death. This action is an external expression of Marlowe's conflict with The Company and the ways that The Company's practices of brutal enslavement ultimately functioned to rob everyone involved, colonizer and colonized, of their humanity.

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