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Tiffany Andrews

May 8, 2014

King Leopold is mainly about his experience of exploring the Congo by hiking around the Congo river. In 1885, King Leopold of Belgium took control of the vast Congo in Africa. When Leopold sacrificed the Congo in order to help Belgium, he gathered together a big fortune at the cost of millions of lives, the Congolees. Hochschild relates to the author Joseph Conrad who wrote the Heart of Darkness, Conrad went to the Congo, he was disgusted by all of the selfishness and cruelty against the natives. That is when his perspective of human nature changed. After Conrad witnessed the truth of the Congo, he made sure the truth was heard. He wrote a book to explain his experience in the Congo. Reading King Leopold's Ghost, my point of view of human nature has changed because there is still violence today, but not like it was when King Leopold was in charge. Things should have been handled a lot differently a long time ago. For example Conrad should have exposed King Leopold long before he did. For me it is difficult for me to believe that it actually happened. Another example would be the natives who did not bring in the rubber would get their hands chopped off. This was a way to make them cooperate and to as they are told. What King Leopold did along with his government, was treat people with disrespect and brutally hurt them in the name of control and resources. King Leopold murdered most of the civilization in the Congo by burning them and torturing them to death for money. In Congo today we still see the brutally and neglect of its people. We should be thankful for having the freedom we have today and not like it was during this time period. This is true of other individuals about whom Hochschild writes like Williams. Leopold was a greedy man who wanted the Congo to himself and slave people around! It sickens me to this day that it is still happening. It has changed a little bit but not enough!

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