Comparing Imperialism In The White Man's Burden, And Apocalypse Now

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“Take up the White Man’s burden, send forth the best ye breed, (Kipling 1-2).” “Then, in the name of freedom, don’t hesitate to shoot [the natives], (LaBouchere 23-24).” Kipling's,”The White Man’s Burden,” and LaBouchere’s,”The Brown Man’s Burden,” describe viewpoints on imperialism as seen by those experiencing its economic benefits and those experiencing its’ destruction firsthand. Imperialism has been a widespread ideology since the nineteenth century and as such, has had many criticisms such as the novel, Heart of Darkness, and movie, Apocalypse Now. In his novel, Joseph Conrad uses his mastery of language to illustrate the viewpoints of both those benefiting off of the riches gained by imperialism, and but mainly those experiencing its…show more content…
There are several analogies that Conrad uses throughout the scene, and one such example is when some of the pilgrims argue with and threaten to kill each other. Marlow then relates it to a situation involving a horse, “by heavens! there is something after all in the world allowing one man to steal a horse while another must not look at a halter, (Conrad 74)” meaning that the imperialistic idea that whites are frowned upon for even thinking about stealing another white man’s horse, or valuables, but not noticed and even encouraged to take those belonging to the natives. The hypocrisy in this statement demonstrates imperialism’s futility as it’s only used to take the resources of others and give them to whites who can’t make anything for themselves in their own countries. Conrad uses imagery when Marlow sees a French ship,”firing into a continent...and nothing happened[ing], (Conrad 60).” The ship is firing blindly into the jungle, not knowing precisely where its enemies are but doing so because it feels threatened. It represents imperialistic futility as the ship doesn’t have a concluding reason to fire into the jungle, but still does. Another illustration of futility through imagery is when Marlow is witnessing the natives doing unnecessary work to finish tasks, “A heavy and dull detonation shook the ground… The cliff was not in the way or anything; but this objectless blasting was all the work going on, (Conrad 62).” The European imperialists in Africa are forcing the native populations to do pointless tasks such as removing mountains that aren’t even blocking the railway. The removal of the mountain and enslaving the population to do pointless labor is in itself utterly useless and reflects back onto the idea that imperialism is in nature,

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