Imperialism in the Congo
What does imperialism say about human nature?
In his book, King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild describes the brutal plunder of the Congo by the Belgian king, Leopold II. Hochschild brings to life the horrors of Imperialism and this specific time period through a careful depiction of historical figures and events. Hochschild relates the story of the author Joseph Conrad who went to the Congo and “was so horrified by the greed and brutality among white men he saw [there] that his view of human nature was permanently changed.”
As you know, Conrad went on to write one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century Heart of Darkness. After closely reading Hochschild’s account and the excerpt from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, notice the ways Conrad’s view changed. How is this true of other individuals about whom Hochschild writes? In what way has this book affected your own view of human nature?
Using specific references from the texts, respond to these questions in a 350-550 word essay.
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