Society’s Ignorance of Racism Racism is extremely prevalent in current times, yet society tends to turn a blind eye towards it. By ignoring racism, society essentially condones it, and teaches future generations to do the same. Authors often choose to incorporate the belittlement of their characters based on ethnicity to address social problems. Joseph Conrad utilizes racism in his literary works to bring to light this widespread Issue. In his novel, The Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses verbs connoting analysts traits to create an apathetic tone towards the demutualization of natives, demonstrating how racism s inevitably ignored in society.
The dehumidifying nature of the standalone verbs creates an apathetic tone illustrating how racism slides by virtually unnoticed in society. Marrow, who is a riverboat captain working for a Belgian Company organizing trade in the Congo, arrives at the Island to which he was assigned. The natives Immediately approached the vessel and “howled, and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces” (Conrad 43). Conrad dehumidifies the natives by describing them with the verbs “howled” and “leaped”, verbs that would normally describe animals in distress.
For example, wolves at night usually howl and leap when they are scared or threatened. The fear of the unknown ship provokes the same response in the natives. Marrow is incapable of expressing compassion for their reasonable fears not because he thinks he is superior to them, even though he does, but because he simply does not care enough to spend his time thinking of them at all. This Illustrates how Marrow and the other white men are completely indifferent to their racist thoughts. Since they regard the natives in an indifferent manner, they do not care enough to change their behavior o end the vicious cycle of racism.
Additionally, when Marrow and General Kurt talk about their plans for how to deal with the natives, General Kurt blurts out “Exterminate all the brutes! ” (60). The verb “exterminate” typically Is used when talking about pests or something of annoyance; something unwanted. However, In his context, Kurt reveals he really does not view them as humans, Instead simply as expendable creatures. The other workers show their indifferent feelings toward the natives as they hear all of the racist remarks yet do nothing about them.
This illustrates how people ignore racism because they witness it yet never speak out or try to change anything. Concord’s use of verbs euthanize the natives, illustrating how the white race is apathetic towards the natives and therefore overlooks any racism towards them. In addition to standalone verbs, Conrad uses verbs in conjunction with figurative language to create an indifferent tone towards the natives, strengthening the idea that racism is overlooked in communities at large. Right as Marrow arrives at his station for the first time, he realizes how brutal Kurt and his men treat the natives.
As he walks to his building, some natives walk by with “black rags wound round their loins, and the short ends wagged to and fro Like tails” (18). The verb “wagged” gives Nags when it is running or works hard. Marrow consciously makes this comparison of dogs with the natives, which shows his apathetic feeling towards them as he knows he reduces them to less than human, yet he continues to do so. This emphasizes how racism flies under the radar as Marrow is giving humans the qualities of an animal without even thinking about it.
Furthermore, Just as Marrow test off the ship and continues towards his cabin, he sees several “black shapes crouched . . . Between the trees” (19). Concord’s usage of “crouched” likens the natives to feral cats, such as panthers or lions. Adding to this demutualization is the metaphor of the natives as “black shapes” that aren’t even identifiable as human. This metaphorical concept is extended throughout the text with other inanimate objects as stand-ins for the natives. The apathetic tone appears again in their unwillingness to change.
The whites are knowingly being racist even when time and mime again they have the opportunity to not be. This exhibits society’s lack of interest in fixing the problem directly as they continue to look past the issue. Conrad uses derby intertwined with figurative language along with standalone verbs to reinforce how racism is looked past yet still existent in society. In his novel The Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses verbs connoting annalistic traits to create an apathetic tone towards the natives to emphasize how racism goes undetected in society.
So often are the whites at the station given the chance to step p and change the way they act towards the natives, yet they never do, demonstrating how they are unconcerned as to how the natives are treated. Many of Concord’s works are related to racism to help enlighten others of this issue. Several authors have a goal of bettering the world through the messages in their writing and discuss ignored problems of society. Racism has been an ongoing problem and still is in communities around the globe, and it continues to be ignored time and time again. Norms Cited Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness.
New York: Knops, 1993. Print. They howled, and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was Just the thought of their humanity – like yours – the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar” (Conrad 43). “Exterminate the brutes! ” (Conrad 60). ‘Black rags wound round their loins, and the short ends behind wagged to and fro like tails” (Conrad 18) “Black shapes crouched, lay, sat between trees, leaning against the trunks, clinging to the earth, half coming out, half effaced within the dim light, in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair”.