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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.3, 415 ~ 433, 2018
The Eluded Allusion: A Satirical Reading of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
Seogkwang Lee
This essay reinterprets Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness as satirical writing. In an experience-based fictional world, Conrad places imperial precursors who present themselves with a derogatory demeanor that stems from corrupt rapacity at its forefront. This rapacity is enabled by what European colonists believe to be a noble cause, regarded as a vehicle with which to enlighten African continent in his work. This essay reads this noble cause that allows such exorbitant and corrupt rapacity as a dominant element in the construction of Conrad’s characters, particularly Kurtz, as objects of satire. Kurtz ends up beginning his calamitous descent into barbarism, mockingly quite opposite to what the colonial disciples misconceive themselves to be. In exhuming the satirical elements from the novel, this paper proves the significance of reading The Heart of Darkness as satire as an alternative reading to the racist book Chinua Achebe has accused it of.
Key Words
Satire, Imperialism, Race, Degeneration, Mocking
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