Joseph Conrad’s novel “Heart of Darkness” can be interpreted as a critique of colonialism. The novel exposes the brutal exploitation of African peoples and resources by European colonizers in the Congo during the late 19th century.
Through the character of Marlow, Conrad portrays the psychological and moral degradation of the European colonizers who are driven by greed, lust for power, and a sense of superiority. Marlow’s journey up the Congo River exposes him to the horrors of colonialism, including the exploitation of African labor, the violent suppression of native resistance, and the destruction of African societies and cultures.
Furthermore, the novel also highlights the dehumanizing effects of colonialism on the colonizers themselves. The experience of witnessing and participating in the brutal exploitation of Africans leads Marlow to question the morality of the colonial enterprise, and to recognize the darkness that lies within his own soul.
Overall, while the novel does not explicitly condemn colonialism, it presents a searing critique of its effects on both the colonized and the colonizers.