Without set rules in a society, people will resort to primal instincts and their subconscious d. At one point in the novel, a man named Preserves, who was originally a gentle man, soon gave into the barbaric ways within the jungle and lashed out against another man. As Barters quote stated, “literature is the question minus the answer”, Preserves a character within the work of literature acts in a way which makes the readers wonder what exactly was going on within the man’s mind, but are left without the answer to why he did what he did. -l heard the original quarrel arose from a misunderstanding about some hens. Yes, two black hens. Preserves-that was the fellows name, and Dane- thought to himself how wronged in the bargain, so he was sent ashore and started to hammer the chief of the village with a stick. Oh, it didn’t surprise me in the least to hear this, and at the same to be told the Preserves was the gentlest, quietest creature that ever walked on two legs.
” From this alone, readers gain insight to just how barbaric even the seemingly civilized of men can become.A common interpretation which is derived is how easy it could take a man to give into his inner darkness. Differences in culture have contributed to Europeans theory of superiority. Natives keep to a primitive culture, in comparison to the refined way of Europeans. Just based on this difference, how does that give the Europeans any inclination over the natives? This type of behavior created a majority of the inhumane acts and feelings towards the natives. The Europeans considered the rituals of native barbaric and odd.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
Kurt, the man Marrow was sent to retrieve, understood the natives.He did not shun their culture, but embraced it, even though it was not for the best of reasons. He became one with the local tribe, to obtain as much ivory as he could. The natives had relatively no use for they ivory; they buried it along with elephant bones after the elephant had died. Kurt was described as being the best agent that the company has ever had. It was because he did not discriminate the rituals of the tribe, but rather grew accustomed to them, and in return was granted the respect of the natives, along with their participation.
Although Quartz’s method of using the natives as a way to get to the ivory was not the most savory method, it was the most effective. The style that Joseph Conrad uses to give an explanation of the reasoning within the story is not an outright answer. Instead, Conrad gives his readers his idea of justification between amorality and evil, and leaves the answers in the air. Such a technique is used to challenge the reader to really think of what is happening within the novel, and to justify based on his/her own interpretation Of the events within the novel.As an example, the line “Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, hen vegetation rioted on earth and the big trees were kings,” displays the idea of Conrad hinting to his readers to think in a primitive way. Specifically “earliest beginnings of the world”, most readers will immediately think of cavemen, and the times of using only stone and rock.
This was a time when what we see as being brutal ways, were the only ways of survival. In the same way, the natives of the Congo know of no other way to live, and therefore are still in the mindset of their primitive instinct.The main question within the novel is ‘why does man do such horrible hints to others? Within the book, there may be many instigating motives for such actions, but no serious reason to follow through with the shackling, beating, and hangings of the native people.
Conrad promoted his audience in a way so that they had to be both asking the questions, and seeking the answers. Many loose ends were left untied, and actions were made without a complete reason. Thus, Joseph Conrad wrote a story which completely solidified Roland Barters quote, “Literature is the question minus the answer”‘.