Compare And Contrast White Man's Burden And Heart Of Darkness

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Rudyard Kipling vs Joseph Conrad Both Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness deal with the subject of imperialism, but in two completely different manners. Rudyard Kipling is trying to say that despite the good intentions of the western world to spread civilisation, the natives of the colonised lands will complain about their newfound “freedom” from the darkness of their uncivilized state. To achieve this, Kipling uses an allusion to The Bible, specifically the freeing of the Israelites from Egypt by Moses. Kipling uses symbols in the allusion to represent not only the literal breaking of bonds done by Moses- “brought he us from bondage” (Stanza 5)- but also the metaphorical breaking of chains done by the Americans…show more content…
In the story, Marlow has been travelling to the campsite of the company he works for- “the centre” of the Congo. During Marlow’s travels, Conrad uses allusion and imagery to say that the imperialistic greed of wealthy nations has decimated these undeveloped societies. To do this, Conrad alludes to Dante’s Inferno especially in this passage of the book; just as Dante journeys to the centre of the earth to Hell, Marlow travels to the centre of the map (7). Conrad specifically uses the word inferno, which is capitalized in certain copies of the novel: “I had stepped into the gloomy circle of some Inferno” (14). The horrors on the journey to Hell that Dante sees is subtly referenced to when Marlow comes across “[b]lack shapes crouched….clinging to the earth…in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair” (14). The workers are described as empty husks of humans, barely visible and as thin as air, symbolising the pain and suffering brought to these people by the colonial powers scavenging the Congo for ivory. Marlow recognizes these horrors, much like Dante does when he journeys to the center of the earth, where the Inferno is

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