How does Heart of Darkness criticize colonialism and civilization?

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Joseph Conrad offers a critique of British colonialism and exposes the thin veil of civilization throughout his classic novella Heart of Darkness. Conrad criticizes British imperialism by exposing the violent, unorganized nature of colonial conquest in Africa, which is portrayed by Marlow's eye-opening experiences at the various stations. The Company's Outer Station is depicted as an unorganized, inefficient enterprise, where slaves are worked to death and nothing is accomplished. The Company's employees are depicted as unscrupulous, greedy, and manipulative.

In addition to the shady nature of the Company's employees, Marlow reads Kurtz 's report to the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs, where he writes that the Company should "Exterminate all the brutes!" (Conrad, 111). This is clearly a criticism of colonial conquest and reveals how colonial regimes perceive Natives. At the Inner Station, Conrad continues to criticize the violent, malevolent...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 470 words.)

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