The Production of the Imperialist Subjectivities in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”

Ferma Lekesizalin

Abstract


In this paper, I argue that Joseph Conrad portrays the imperialist ideology as fundamentally flawed in “Heart of Darkness". The inconsistency of imperialism is blatantly evident in the contradiction between the perceptions of Kurtz as “an emissary of pity” (59) and his call for genocide, which he put as a postscript in his report to the Society for the Suppression of the Savage Customs. I thus claim that “Heart of Darkness” constructs the colonizer as a flawed subject who suffers from the same contradictions with the imperialist system as its product. I will use the Lacanian theory of the symbolic order and refer to Slavoj Žižek’s re-formulations of it in order to substantiate and clarify my points.


Keywords


The imperialist ideology, overdetermination, ideological interpellation, the symbolic order, the non-symbolizable kernel, unconscious fantasies, cynical reason

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.4p.63

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