Imperialist Decay: The Sane And The Insane

852 words - 4 pages

“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.” (George R. R. Martin). Life is not just a single journey, as commonly known. Life is made of multifarious little journeys, both physical and emotional, defining who we are, were and will be. Meaning might lack, but we never give up on our supposed goal, because we are persistent humanoids. Charlie Marlow’s journey in Heart of Darkness had been summarized in the last couple of sentences, surprisingly. Marlow encumbered himself with a journey of self-discovery and truth seeking; the truth about the superficially ornamented culture he belonged to. The imperialist culture, as glorious and ringing as it might seem, is trapped between two extremely conflicting worlds, which actually govern the actions of its descendants. Sanity and insanity are those two worlds, which are separated by the extremely thin, fragile string of imperialism. Imperialists sent to civilize the black savages arrive with a sane – white man – mindset, but end up as one of the insane savages. “The old doctor felt my pulse, evidently thinking of something else the while. 'Good, good for there,' he mumbled, and then with a certain eagerness asked me whether I would let him measure my head.” Deterioration of the human brain of a sane, white man to an insane savage was a common symptom among those who decided to join the noble cause, those who decided to live their life on an extremely thin thread.

Imperialism is the deterioration of a properly functioning, sane brain. That ever-thin thread of imperialism, separating sanity from insanity is, unfortunately, not strong enough to hold its imperialists, thus letting them all fall into an abyss of savageness. Marlow, being a white man, was born “sane” with an innate desire of advocating the noble cause of white men, which is spreading this sanity to the insane, belittled savages of the dark places on earth. Apparently, all white men who join the noble cause get transformed, by an unknown “agent” to utter merciless savages, who are no where near sanity. “No doubt [Fresleven] was; but he had been a couple of years already out there engaged in the noble cause, you know, and he probably felt the need at last of asserting his self-respect in some way. Therefore he whacked the old nigger mercilessly…” This point elaborately shows how deceptive and manipulative the imperialists are, and how savage they become after they blend into the culture they were sent to modernize and enlighten.

Marlow, like most white men are, was startled...

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