The Forest of Suffering

This selection from "Heart of Darkness" is recognized by most critics, whether as good or bad. Achebe writes that Marlow is able to express these "bleeding-heart sentiments" because it goes along with the "advanced and humane views appropriate to the English liberal tradition which required all Englishmen of decency to be deeply shocked by atrocities in...the Congo..." But Marlow was a sailor who really didn't care about "English liberal traditions" or much of what anyone thought. For example, he knew by defending Kurtz, he would begin to be hated on board the boat, and that is exactly what happened. "My hour of favour was over; I found myself lumped along with Kurtz as a partisan of methods for which the time was not ripe. I was unsound." Achebe says that this liberalism touched all of the best minds of Europe and America, but it sidestepped "the ultimate question of equality between white people and black people." It somehow, in his opinion, lessened the importance of the Africans by making them smaller. I believe it simply demonstrated the inability of the Europeans to act with morality, to show sound judgment and caring of other people. It shows the utter darkness of man and his conquests.