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VII- HD: colonialism at work. 
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Post VII- HD: colonialism at work.
VII- Colonialism at work:

1- The description of the first Africans Marlow meets.





- the chained men " A slight clinking behind me..." page 19, to "deathly indifference of unhappy savages".



- the dying workers: "Black shapes crouched ...(p 20) "they were dying slowly" page 21.



How does the narrator portray the Africans in these two examples?

Does he feel any compassion?


2- The "pilgrims".

Who are those "pilgrims" Marlow mentions now and then?

Why does he call them pilgrims?


3- The arrival of the "Eldorado Exploring Expedition".


What do you think of the name of the Expedition?


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Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:51 pm
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This was a powerful passage in the novella. Marlow is no moral crusader; he has certain ideas about the difference in humanity between the Africans and himself, and he is a person with a job to do. But he does clearly see the brutality of the European operation and is disgusted by it. He offers one of the dying men a biscuit; he is "horror-struck." Even though these might be a different species of men, they are still "men, I tell you."

The pilgrims I take it are traders who are hanging around hoping for a piece of the action. I'm not sure what their "staves" are, but Marlow certainly views these pilgrims with barely disguised contempt. "Pilgrim" appears to be an entirely ironic term, as their real mission has nothing to do with any spiritual or higher mission.



Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:33 am
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The Africans - chains clinking behind him- shadowy figures, dying slowly..the old Africa....perhaps

The were not a threat.....to Marlow's eyes they were shadows of the past system. 'But they were still Men' - He says this like a revelation!!

To the explorers and plunderers - the Africans were just a nuisance....like the Jews in Germany were a nuisance to Hitler's plans - so he called them 'Dogs'. In Brazil now, there a children who live in the sewers and scavenge and they call them 'Rats' (this issue is being addressed - I understand). When we start to call groups of people by the names of animals it is always a warning sign. But Marlow realises, 'they were Men'.

The Pilgrims - even today a 'foot' pilgrim in Europe still carries a staff. If. you visit Santiago Di Compostella in Northern Spain - you can still see pilgrims with staffs who have walked across Europe, through Avignon in France. I like to visit places of pilgrimage myself - but I don't walk all the way.

Eldorado - means Land of Gold - which says it all really - Pilgrims are not meant to be seeking Gold......

Shades of 'The American Dream' here......as in 'The Great Gatsby' I think.



Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:10 pm
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Penelope wrote:

Quote:
To the explorers and plunderers - the Africans were just a nuisance....like the Jews in Germany were a nuisance to Hitler's plans - so he called them 'Dogs'. In Brazil now, there a children who live in the sewers and scavenge and they call them 'Rats' (this issue is being addressed - I understand). When we start to call groups of people by the names of animals it is always a warning sign. But Marlow realises, 'they were Men'.


So true.
During the genocide in Rwanda the Hutus de-humanized the Tootsies by calling them "cockroaches".


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Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:28 pm
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Penelope wrote:
.

Shades of 'The American Dream' here......as in 'The Great Gatsby' I think.


I had a flash of Gatsby , too, at one point. Marlow says that all Europe seemed to have come together in Kurtz, and I remember something similar said about Gatsby in terms of America. You are right, I think, that the Africans' being men, after all, is a revelation to Marlow. I can imagine his audience on the ship thinking to themselves, "Why is he so worked up about a bunch of n*****s.?"



Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:58 am
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Of course, when you get to know an individual of any race....as a friend, you forget that their skin is a different colour.

I had a friend some years ago who was just about as black in colour as they come......and when I first met him I thought....oooooh. But when I got to know him I honestly forgot that he was a different colour. He did have a strong Lancashire accent.....and was very funny, and he was just Eddie to me.

The trouble is, the Asians tend to live all together in one place and take themselves very seriously......(some of them) and we think they should live and behave like us.....they look at our society and don't want to be like us....and I don't blame them in many ways.

But it does cause friction because some of us think 'when in Rome'. When they stick together and don't mix, we get offended, and they get offended because we are offended. :shock: It is such a shame. It isn't just about colour though because we have quite a bit of predjudice here against the Eastern Europeans now.

I think it is just fear of what we don't understand.



Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:52 pm
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We talk about the assimilationist ethic in the U.S., how supposedly it is greater than what operates in Europe/UK. One thing that so upsets people here is the preference ethnic groups appear to show for not "blending in" as much as groups did in the past. The melting pot is sometimes mocked now by multiculturists, but I have to say that I still believe that national identity should be maintained and should supercede whatever ethnic affiliation we also want to maintain.



Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:33 pm
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Right DWill.....this is me being racist....but honest....and with great affection.....

Those Asians.....they are a bit of a nuisance in that.....they don't dispose of their rubbish correctly.....Well they don't have refuse collections in India....because they don't have that much refuse....they use everything.

They paint their houses....in the most lurid colours....not with quiet good taste....as we were taught.......because colour is very important to the Asian people.......it cheers them up!!!

And for such trivial reasons.....we condemn them and alienate them.... because they don't do things the way we do......and thus...there is hatred and alienation.....and those who seek to divide us.....have a potentially powerful tool. And I believe, unfortunately, that there are those on both sides who seek to divide....and weaken.

Ophelia....knows more about this than I do.....read her Journal.



Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:56 pm
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For a while "communautarism" on the British model was admired in France because the "assimilation " model was not working here and there was a debate whether we would want communautarism.

Now it is felt that the British system hasn't worked either because students can be "brainwashed" in their madrassas, and apparently in polls Asians answer that they are Muslim first, an British second", which would not be felt to be acceptable in France.

So no more British model here for the moment.


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Last edited by Ophelia on Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:00 am
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Ophelia said:

Quote:
So no more British model here for the moment.


I agree Ophelia....there is a lot to be said for living in England but our Race Relations is not one of them.......



Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:32 pm
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Hi Penelope,

Sometimes I type too quickly, my posting above was full of mistakes; the poll was "Muslim first" of course, not "Asian".


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Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:38 pm
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Well of course they would say Muslim first.....that is the dogma of their faith.....

But Muslims, like Christians - have different factions and points of view within their own faiths- one Christian point of view can be diametrically opposite to anothers in many cases, and the same goes for Islam, take Salman Rushdie as an instance.

It is just the fundamentalism that is impossible to take.....I can't stand fundamentalism in any shape or form.....Religious or Political......with the 'certainty' comes the 'inquisition' in my experience.

I'm all for a bit of woolley-minded liberal thinking.....



Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:50 pm
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Post cartoons
A blogger at Le Monde newspaper has published some interesting cartoons about the colonial past of four European countries: take your pick!

http://jcdurbant.blog.lemonde.fr/2006/09/17/2006_09_falsifier_lhist/


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Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:57 pm
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Penelope,
Yes, it does seem to be true that certainty and conviction in matters of religion turn out to be destructive in one way or another. I wonder why this is, because certainty & conviction seem to be good things when not coupled with religion. I'm all for watered-down faith, too, if faith must exist. But that is anathema to believers, of course.
Will



Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:48 pm
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DWill - The fundamentalist/evangelical faiths insist on absolute conviction.

Fortunately, you can attend the Church of England if you don't believe in God at all. No one will challenge you, but you have to stand up and say the creed......which feels dreadful, if like me, you absolutely believe in God, but don't believe the dogma, or what I call the bllsht.

Still, I am sure it is what we 'do'.....not what we 'say' that counts.



Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:11 pm
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