The Dark Side of Human Nature—An Exploration of "Heart of Darkness" in the Light of Orientalism

ZHANG Song-cun
2017 US-China Foreign Language  
This thesis focuses on the dark side of human nature implied in the novel Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924. The dark side of human nature finds its ready expression in the cruel oppression and exploitation of the colonialists or imperialists. Kurtz, the main character in the novel, is characterized by his greed for material gain and power, his cruel behavior towards the natives, his sense of superiority to the marginalized, and his dominance in discourse over the colonial
more » ... ver the colonial people. So Kurtz can be viewed as a representative of the colonialists or imperialists, who concentratedly illustrates the dark side of human nature. The interpretation and analysis of the novel in this paper is grounded on the theory of post-colonialism proposed by Edward Said whose key concepts in his Orientalism and strategy of deconstruction through discourse revolution can be applied to the discovery of the true nature of the imperialists and colonialism.
doi:10.17265/1539-8080/2017.02.005 fatcat:ubim565sivddvda4r2vm33o37a