Heart of Darkness Essay

Topics: Morality, Religion, Ethics Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: January 8, 2013
Heart of Darkness Essay

Morality has been interpreted in different ways throughout life, but there is only one true definition, which leads to the reality of what society truly is. Joseph Conrad uses narration in Heart of Darkness to explain and analyze human’s moral values. It is true that all humans are savages, but this savage nature does not make someone a bad person. If a person uses one’s savage features for evil and do not restrain from doing so, then it is the lack of restraint that brings upon the evil in humans. Restraint is necessary for the sake of mankind because it helps a person to ease into understanding the harsh reality of life. Morality is the ability to restrain from using one’s savage nature for the demise of society.

All humans have a savage component within, however, the way one approaches this human element dictates whether or not one’s savage nature is used for evil. Western society has alluded to the image of savagery as people who are “uncivilized” or who practice lifestyles and beliefs that are much different than western society’s view of life. Certain foreign rituals that are frowned upon by society, like cannibalism, are rejected simply because it is deemed wrong and barbaric. The implication that these foreign rituals are forms of savagery alludes to the fa ct that western society truly believes that savagery is nowhere evident in the “civilized” lifestyle. This is very untrue, for all humans are somewhat savages at heart. Throughout history “civilized” humans have paralleled evil in the colonization process, in which the concept of helping a small and less powerful nation is demolished by a power-hungry society: They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force – nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weaknesses of others. They grabbed what they could get and for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated...

Cited: Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Ed. Robert Hampson and Owen Knowles. London: Penguin, 2007. Print.
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