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Colin Douglas

Imperialism: Changing Views on Human Nature

May 1, 2014

Once veing a very popular policy, imperialism is now essentially abolished. Imperialism is a policy in which a country extends it's power through diplomatic or military means, and has been applied by many governments throughout history. The British, Romans, Egyptians, and even the Belgians have all acted imperialistically at some point in history. In fact, the novel "King Leopold's Ghost" by Adam Hochschild covers the actions and lives of the Belgian king Leopold II, the explorer Henry Morton Stanley, and others involved in Belgium's colonizing of the areas surrounding the Congo River. The novel provides insight into the events that occurred both in the Congo itself and back in Europe at the time of the colonization that may be very hard to gain from just simple research. Within the novel, an author, Joseph Conrad, is referenced who wrote a novel that more intensely focuses on the events unfolding in the congo named "Heart of Darkness." Through the use of these two books, one can see how the imperialistic behavior of King Leopold II and his soldiers in the Congo has deeply and negatively affected Joseph Conrad's view on human nature. Conrad was horrified by what he witnessed in the Congo. In seeing how the soldiers beat and abused the natives and spotting how they truly enjoyed what they were doing as well as the greed displayed by the white men, Conrad was deeply changed. Hochschild described Conrad's reaction by saying he "was so horrified by the greed and brutality among white men he saw in the Congo that his view of human nature was permanently changed." (Hochschild, KLG pg. 142) Hochschild goes on to discuss Conrad's future endeavors, mainly discussing his novel "Heart of Darkness." Here I will write about Conrad's writings in a HoD excerpt.

I will write about how the characters in Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" also show how their views on human nature change in another paragraph.

I will discuss how my views on human nature changed as a result of reading this book.

Then there will be a conclusion wrapping everything up and closing out the essay.

Just a rough draft and outline of what is to come.


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