Close Reading of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
The given extract from Conrad perfectly demonstrates the existence of imperialistic and colonial values in the minds of people. The speaker offers the idea of “an instrument” that has always been “at my back” and helps to cope with different situations. In such a way, we can see a specific attitude toward another person coming from the idea that representatives of some nations can be used as tools to achieve some goals or support the dominant class. It reflects the mentality of people who spent their lives in former colonies and who acquired a specific mood towards people living there.
At the same time, there is also an idea of a specific bond and relationship between these two people. While the first one provided his services, the second one had to look after him and worry about “deficiencies”. This statement demonstrates the concept of the inferiority of some races and the need for specific guidance for them to avoid deterioration of their states and guarantee that they would survive. This biased and stereotypical attitude comes from the belief that white people do good to areas colonised by them and help local people to avoid chaos and devastation.
In such a way, the passage can be viewed in terms of the idea of imperialism and a specific way of thinking presupposing the acceptance of the fact that some people are born to rule while others should serve them and count for guidance. Today, regardless of multiple attempts to eliminate this remnant of this past, there are still similar moods in the Western world. The continuous impact of this ideology on people in these areas created the basis for multiple problems in the future and their inability to build a new independent state.