Exposing the tense relations between white colonists and African natives, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad explores the history of European colonialism in Africa, which has been known for many reasons as the Dark Continent. The book is framed as a story that is being recounted, focusing on a sailor named Marlow who is employed by an ivory trading company, known simply as the Company. Marlow must venture along the Congo, and as a result he witnesses firsthand some of the effects and consequences of European colonialism on the various parts of Africa that he encounters. Many of his observations of how the colonists treated the African natives are horribly tragic, as the natives are overworked and severely underappreciated.
His introduction to this view of Africa, however, is not the only mysterious part of the novel. Marlow's meeting and relationship with Kurtz, who is held in high regard by the local African natives, materializes into a depiction of race relations and cultural misconception. Since its publication, Heart of Darkness has triggered heated conversations about the perceptions of Africa and how African natives have been wrongfully perceived throughout the years.