Joseph Conrad, an immigrant who obtained citizenship in the United Kingdom became a prominent bourgeoisie of European culture, the traditions of ideas. This essay seeks to construct postcolonial narratives about the novel: The Heart of Darkness.
I have developed certain diagnostic tools for a postcolonial narrative and they are: Philosophical Etymology, Psychological Pharmacology, Existential Ontology, and Postmodern Theology.
The Heart of Darkness is a metaphor for understanding how the colonial mind connotes the unknown as wild, savage, and untamed. The West sees the East as lacking a proper civilization and as a misanthrope. Navigating an African river, Conrad describes the people who live there with colossal ignorance. The motto: capture, tame and subdue rings the bells of the day. African culture is considered a macabre culture.
Next, Conrad uses the term: NIGGER, an insult term for black culture. We all know how much black culture has bequeathed to civilization. Especially reminiscent is the contribution of Black Culture in the field of Jazz, Blues and Gospel. Black culture has also infused the literary world with dozens like Toni Morrison and Chinua Achebe.
Conrad takes the view that European ideas, customs and traditions must be indoctrinated and therefore the savage must be tamed.
Yes, the heart of darkness is a narrative that hurts the spirit of black culture and its ramifications for civilization.
Here I take into account the look of Jacque Lacan. The look at Lacan’s conception is a metaphor for libido, for machismo. The look has a clinical effect. Let’s take a look at how the gaze works in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The look is clinically colonial, wanting to pulverize the culture, values and traditions of the colonized. The gaze wants to confiscate, appropriate and tyrannize the colonized. The gaze is an instrument of a colonial phallus.
Looking at the novel from a Freudian point of view, we understand that the phallus creates seeds of anarchy, rebellion in its attempt to infiltrate black culture. The Oedipus complex takes a turn and the father values himself over the Mother. The ideas of the European mind are phallic and become those of conquering the fetishes of African culture.
Next, we can look at the novel from Jung’s point of view. The protagonist of the novel wears the archetype of the devil. The devil is a European pervert with a corrupt tool. The devil is only interested in exploiting, dominating and ruining the resources of Africans.
Existential philosophy with its brother (ontology) or being connotes three states of being: being in oneself, being for oneself and being for others. Being is a primitive consciousness. Being itself is the direction of consciousness towards a goal. Being for yourself is the gratification of desires. In the colonial worldview: being for oneself becomes a political philosophy of action. Europe and America have been notorious for the slave trade. It is worth asking: when was slavery annulled? It is a tide in the history of mankind.
Postmodern theology understands how a binary divide is created. A sign is made up of a signifier (a thing) and a signified (idea). Suppose I say: Dove is peace: Dove is the signifier, the thing and Peace, the meaning, the idea. The binary divide that is created in this work is white versus black, savage versus civilized. The course of the narrative is strewn with spittle of contempt. Europeans have light flags on the dark continent of Africa.