The book Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is a masterpiece in literature. Conrad obtained many of his perspectives for his work from `hands on experience' and also from his harsh background and childhood. When Conrad was still a child his father was exiled to Siberia because of suspicions on plotting against the Russian government. After his mother died, 's father sent him to his mother's brother in Krakow for education purposes. This was the last time Conrad ever saw his father. After Conrad had turned seventeen, he traveled to Marseilles and spent the next twenty years on an English ship, (eight years later he became a British subject). Conrad began writing his first novel Almayer's Folly in 1889, and began to actively search for a way to fulfill his dream of traveling to the Congo. In 1890 Conrad took command of a steamship in the Belgian Congo. Conrad's experiences in the Congo paved the way and the outline for his brilliant novel . During his time in the Congo, Conrad's health took a devastating blow so he returned to England to recover. Returning to sea twice before finishing Almayer's Folly in 1894 Conrad wrote several other books including one about Marlow which was called Youth (a narrative before beginning Heart of Darkness in 1898). Conrad wrote most of his other major works Lord Jim (which features Marlow), Nostramo and The Secret Agent as well as several collaborations with Ford Madox during the following two decades. Conrad died in 1924 but will always have and hold a place in the hearts of many readers. In his book Heart of Darkness Conrad gives the reader an understanding of how the Africans were mistreated during colonization. The book also pinpoints many cases that show the and selfishness of imperialism.
Colonization, greed and the mistreatment of human people happens all the time in our current day life. It is very sad, but true that we are living in one of the (if not the) biggest powers of imperialism ever. In Iraq for instance, we left Sadam in Iraq during the first gulf war for a reason. We had the power and the resources to do exactly what we are doing now back then. It is all about the oil, and sadly but truly oil is not even a necessity anymore. Technology has grown so much that we now obtain the power to generate enough electricity and power through wind alone. We also have the ability to run cars off of water rather than gas, but if we look at where our president and his family have their money we clearly can see the problem. It is all invested in the oil business. Why is it so great that the vice president `Cheany' is heading up a campaign to salvage the oil fields? Is it such a big surprise that he also has money invested in the whole oil business as well? This is one example of a current day situation that is reflected to the greatest extent in the wonderful novel Heart of Darkness. This book was an excellent portrayal of the evilness and suffering caused by imperialistic powers exercising their power in the wrong ways. It also helped me understand the suffering that took place in Africa.