Heart of Darkness
Uploaded by Sloth44 on Nov 08, 2001
William Blake spent much of his youth as an impoverished child, his family barely afforded him the chances to learn to read and write. He boldly worked with controversial themes during the largest revolutionary wars ever. His theories of innocence and experience were revolutionary in themselves and inspired and stirred awesome works reflecting upon how one moves from that state of innocence to experience. Joseph Conrad, Thomas Wolfe and Francis Ford Coppola can all derive their masterpieces from Blake’s work. All of the pieces are concerned with moral dilemmas, the isolation of the individual to be tested by experience and the psychology of inner urges. The forces of darkness and dissolution consequently initiate the relativism of ethics and morality. Moral relativism is the belief that moral principles and values depend and rely solely upon the social customs and beliefs of the time and location. Ultimately, even as moral values vary from culture to culture, one should be judged on why they actually behave and do certain things as opposed to how people are supposedly supposed to behave. When passing from innocence to experience one must consider his/her own moral and ethical relativism, a key string through the works The Lamb, The Tyger, The Child by Tiger, Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now. The ethics were related to their surroundings and are shown, in much of the works, through certain racist undertones, the dilemma to kill or be killed and the effects of restraints on people.
“It seemed to us boys that there was very little that Dick Prosser could not do.” Explains the narrator of The Child By Tiger, he could cook, he could tend the furnace, he know how to drive a car.”, he was a “crack” Negro soldier and had a “power… an order, that was astounding.” The boys loved him, too ignorant and innocent yet to experience and submit to the standard influential racism of their local communities and generation. The Sheppertons were “delighted” with him and he had obediently accepted an assault from a drunken white fool. Despite all Dick’s meticulous care and painstaking hard work, the ethical law of the post Civil War, abolition, was still that of white supremacy and legal enslavement and discrimination of minorities, namely African-Americans. Regardless of how an intelligent, civilized and caring person Dick was, even the Sheppertons conformed and followed peer pressure to hide their Negro in the corner...