Expedition” company in Africa
Expedition” company in Africa. “This devoted band led by “a white man in new clothes and tan shoes” called itself the Eldorado Exploring Expedition, and I believe they were sworn to secrecy. Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage” (Conrad, 35). Marlow believes that British imperialism had a “moral purpose”. British were in Africa to enlighten the Africans and that the British were in central Africa Congo to work and improve. Improving the colonies, which he thinks was happening. When Marlow encounters the “Eldorado Exploring Expedition” describing them as any other common thieves who was not there to bring enlightenment without “moral purpose.” Marlow uses the language of stereotype against other European to emphasise otherness because they are not British. “There was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world. To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe” (Conrad,35). Marlow believes in the enlightenment he was aware that the Eldorado’s were not doing work but stealing missing good value. This is significant because Marlow narrate the antithesis of other Europeans colonizing natives for their own benefit. They thought themselves to be civilized but Marlow saw them as not civil. Marlow saw the “Eldorado” as the other because they were uncivilized their purpose was to reap treasure and exploit Africans and their resources.
Marlow describes the Eldorado as having “desire” of having no motivation to stealing and they have no “courage”. Marlow himself is a man of order and “moral courage” (Karl, 126). Marlow believes that if it is for a good cause to imperialise as he blindly assumed Britain then it is good other than stealing. He ignores a significant part that Britain is also stealing from the colony but she justifies her truth by epistemological knowledge. “with reverence and affection, then to evoke the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames; It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis; of East India fleets. Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream; what greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river into the mystery of an unknown earth! The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires” (Conrad, 4-5). Unintended consequences of the Thames River bring in stolen treasures Marlow points out an unintended irony he is praising the river that was significant on bringing in treasure that had been stolen somewhere. This contradicts Marlow’s truth about Britain to put what they can get out on creating a straw man image that the colonised natives are savages and primitive that need to be colonised for them to be enlightened. This prevented Marlow from realising the real truth about the Thames River he praised and Great Britain.
Conrad created the binary oppositions between the West and East in the novella Heart of Darkness with Marlow’s epistemological scepticism of “otherness”. Marlow has little contacts with the Africans he also denies the opportunity of understanding them. He alienates himself from dialogue understanding and continue carry the epistemological knowledge that Europeans have about Africans. Upon Marlow’s arrival he describes the Africans as barbaric, blacks and savages. “Why in the name of all the gnawing devils of hunger they the “cannibals” didn’t go for us they were thirty to five and have a good tuck-in for once, amazes me now when I think of it.” (Conrad, 48). Europeans have constructed binary opposition about African that they are “cannibals” eating people. Marlow uses stereotype language as paradox to stereotype. This is significant because Marlow’s language is antithetical to stereotype there is binary opposition to stereotype natives called cannibals that do not match with reality. He uses the language not for the same reasons but to clarify his observations that truth Europeans have created is lack of knowledge of the other. Marlow discovers that Africans are human but sees them as other.
In the novella, Africans are the “other”, Marlow questioning is paradox in his narration there is doubt that they are no different from the Europeans. Why the black natives did not eat them? He did not understand why the natives did not eat them “human secrets” influenced by moral “restrain”. Marlow could see that the Africans are people like them but does not admit he becomes less and less convinced because he is discovering truth about his perceptions about his lack of knowledge. “They were big powerful men, with not much capacity to weigh the consequences, with courage, with strength, even yet, though their skins were no longer glossy and their muscles no longer hard. And I saw that something restraining, one of those human secrets that baffle probability, had come into play there” (Conrad, 48). It is evident through Marlow’s contemplations that he sees “restraint” that locals appear as a way understanding their more respectable nature. Through emphasizing their capacity of being able to limit themselves, eve towards the colonialists who have oppressed and starved them. Marlow shows that