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Heart of Darkness: Moral Relativism

Year 11 IB English IOP

Rhiannon Webb

on 7 October 2012

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Transcript of Heart of Darkness: Moral Relativism

Moral Relativism Heart of Darkness Context Should Marlow have chosen Kurtz? Questions "White Man's Burden" Joseph Conrad Frame Narrative Right and Wrong Moral Relativism: Western Culture vs. African Culture
Kurtz vs. the Company Imperialism “...unless they swallowed the wire itself, or made
loops of it to snare the fish with, I don’t see what
good their extravagant salary could be to them” (P50) “It seems he could not make
bricks without something, I don’t know what – straw maybe” (P29) “[Marlow] avoided a vast, artificial hole somebody had been
digging on the slope, the purpose of which [Marlow] found it
impossible to divine... It might have been connected with the
philanthropic desire of giving the criminals something to do” (P19) “The cliff was not in the way of anything; but this objectless blasting was all the work going on” (P18) “A nigger was being beaten nearby. They said
he had caused the fire in some way; be that as
it may, he was screeching most horribly” (P28) Kurtz Eldorado
Expedition Fresleven Western Culture African Culture inferior
savage "...in the great demoralisation of the land he kept up his appearance" (P21) Social Darwinism "[Marlow] would just as soon expect restraint from a hyena prowling amongst the corpses of a battlefield" (P51) Europeans “perhaps on some quite night the tremor of far-off drums, sinking, swelling, a tremor vast, faint; a sound weird, appealing, suggestive, and wild – and perhaps with as profound a meaning as the sound of bells in a Christian country” (P23) ”...just the thought of their humanity – like yours – the thought of your remote kinship” (P44) Pilgrims Corruption Savagery Inefficiency Intrusion Kurtz Evil? Cruelty Efficient The Company Kurtz Inefficient “The cliff was not in the way of anything; but this objectless blasting was all the work going on” (P18) "Sends in as much ivory as the
others put together..." (P22) Fresleven Godlike Rebels'
Heads Attack on
Steamer His
Intended Pretence/Ignorance Honesty/Sane "whited
sepulchre" “The flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly” “’Do you know what you are doing?’ [Marlow] whispered. ‘Perfectly,’ [Kurtz] answered, raising his voice for that single word” (P81) Were any Imperialist ideas correct? Can you justify Kurtz's actions? Who do you think were more civil - the Europeans or the natives? What is the heart of darkness?
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