Abstract

The possibility of native resistance to colonial tyranny and the threat of the loss of colonial “order” is a continual, sustained anxiety throughout Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness. Critics have largely ignored or downplayed these inscriptions of resistance in Conrad’s text. Much of the criticism that surrounds this novella, according to Patrick Brantlinger, is focused on the European subjects of the text, and therefore renders Africa and its native peoples as a kind of backdrop. Literary critiques of Heart of Darkness that do discuss the African natives tend to portray them as victims rather than having any kind of agency. This latent fear of native resistance demonstrates the fantasy of stability and superiority endemic to imperialism: a narrative that the imperial administration must continually tell itself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 20-37
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-26
Open Access
No
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