Friday, December 28, 2012

Novel Lectures: Third Lecture - Fourth Year

Third Lecture                Miss. Marwa Medhat
Novel                             Tue. The 27th of Oct.
Imperialism is the way in which a rich or powerful country's way of life, cultural, business etc influence other countries.
Different types:
  • Cultural: It happens when one nation tries to force its cultural believes on another.
  • Economic: the process by which an economy extends its financial control over others.
  • Political: involves direct political control over a dependent territory
Different phases of Imperialism:
  • Imperialism in the Ancient World: In the ancient world imperialism manifested itself in a series of great empires that arose when one people, usually representing a particular civilization and religion, attempted to dominate all others by creating a unified system of control. The empire of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire are salient examples.
  • Early Imperialism (1400-1750): took the form of overseas colonial expansion. Rather than one state attempting to unify the world, in this period many competing states established political control over territories in South and Southeast Asia and in the New World. Imperial systems were organized according to the doctrine of mercantilism: Each imperial state attempted to control the trade of its colonies, in order to monopolize the benefits of that trade.
  • Imperialism in the mid-19th century: The practice endured in this period even though mercantilism and the pace of formal empire building declined significantly. European, especially British, power and influence were extended informally, mainly through diplomatic and economic means, rather than formally, through direct colonial rule. The imperialism of free trade, however, was short-lived: By the end of the 19th century European powers were once again practicing imperialism in the form of overseas territorial annexation, expanding into Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.
  • Modem economic Imperialism since the end of World War II. The US., for instance, exerts considerable influence over certain Third World nations, as a result of its national economic power and its dominance of certain international financial organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Motivations of Imperialism:
  • To Christianize: Protestant and Catholic missionaries travelled throughout the world to spread Christianity. Europeans consider themselves missionaries of light.
  • To civilize
  • To assist economic progress in the mother country.
  • Economic motives:
    • Industrial Revolution
    • The desire to increase trading opportunities.
  • Political Motives:
    • Competition of power
    • Prestige
    • Security Needs.
  • Ideological Motives:
    • Political, cultural, or religious beliefs force states into imperialism as a "missionary activity." Britain's colonial empire was motivated at least in part by the idea that it was the "white man's burden" to civilize "backward" peoples. Germany's expansion under Hitler was based in large measure on a belief in the inherent superiority of German national culture. The desire of the US. to "protect the free world" and of the former Soviet Union to "liberate" the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Third World are also examples of imperialism driven by moral and ideological concerns.
  • Benjamin Disraeli: Disraeli was, according to some interpretations, a supporter of the expansion and preservation of the British Empire in the Middle East and Central Asia. Though, he had for the most part opted to continue the Whig policy of limited expansion, preferring to maintain the then-current borders as opposed to promoting expansion. Disraeli believed in upholding Britain’s greatness through a tough, "no nonsense" foreign policy that put Britain's interests above the "moral law" that advocated emancipation of small nations.
  • Cecil John Rhodes:  Rhodes used his wealth to pursue his dream of creating a British Empire in new territories. Rhodes' competitive advantage over other mineral prospecting companies was his combination of wealth and the 'imperial factor', his use of the British Government: he made friendships with its local representatives, the British Commissioners, and through them organized British protectorates over the mineral concession areas via separate but related treaties, conferring both legality and security for mining operations. Imperial expansion and capital investment went hand in hand. The imperial factor was a double-edged sword: Rhodes did not want it to mean that the bureaucrats would interfere in the Empire in Africa. He wanted British settlers and local politicians and governors, like himself, to run it. This put him on a collision course with many in Britain, as well as with British missionaries who favoured what they saw as the more ethical direct rule from London.
Imperialism in Heart of Darkness:
  • "Forthwith a change came over the waters, and the serenity became less brilliant but more profound... It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud, from Sir Francis Drake to Sir John Franklin, knights all, titled and untitled — the great knights-errant of the sea. It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the GOLDEN HIND returning with her rotund flanks full of treasure, to be visited by the Queen's Highness and thus pass out of the gigantic tale, to the EREBUS and TERROR, bound on other conquests — and that never returned. It had known the ships and the men ...The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires." p.3
  • "I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago -- the other day .... The fascination of the abomination — you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate." p.5
  • "Mind," he began again, lifting one arm from the elbow, the palm of the hand outwards, so that, with his legs folded before him, he had the pose of a Buddha preaching in European clothes and without a lotus-flower -- "Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this ...The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.... and an unselfish belief in the idea - something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to...." p.6-7
  • "One thing more remained to do — say good-bye to my excellent aunt... She talked about 
    weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways,' till, upon my word, she made me quite uncomfortable. I ventured to hint that the Company was run for profit. " p.15

  • "I laid the ghost of his gifts at last with a lie," he began; suddenly... You should have heard him say, 'My ivory. I Oh, yes, I heard him. 'My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my - ' everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places. Everything belonged to him -- but that was a trifle... All Europe contributed." P.72

  • Nietzsche:
    • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 -1900) was a 19th- century Germanphilosopher and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, using a distinctive German-language style and displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.
    • Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition, and to a lesser extent in analytic philosophy.
    • One of Nietzsche's fundamental contentions was that traditional values (represented primarily by Christianity) had lost their power in the lives of individuals. He expressed this in his proclamation "God is dead/' He was convinced that traditional values represented a "slave morality," a morality created by weak and resentful individuals who encouraged such behavior as gentleness and kindness because the behavior served their interests. Nietzsche claimed that new values could be created to replace the traditional ones, and his discussion of the possibility led to his concept of the overman or superman.
    • According to Nietzsche, the masses (whom he termed the herd or mob) conform to tradition, whereas his ideal overman is secure, independent, and highly individualistic. The overman feels deeply, but his passions are rationally controlled. Concentrating on the real world, rather than on the rewards of the next world promised by religion, the overman affirms life, including the suffering and pain that accompany human existence. Nietzsche's overman is a creator of values, a creator of a "master morality" that reflects the strength and independence of one who is liberated from all values, except those that he deems valid.
    • Nietzsche maintained that all human behavior is motivated by the will to power. In its positive sense, the will to power is not simply power over others, but the power over oneself that is necessary for creativity. Such power is manifested in the overman's independence, creativity, and originality. Although Nietzsche explicitly denied that any overmen had yet arisen, he mentions several individuals who could serve as models. Among these models he lists Jesus, Greek philosopher Socrates, Florentine thinker Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist Michelangelo, English playwright William Shakespeare, German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Roman ruler Julius Caesar, and French emperor Napoleon I.
    • The concept of the overman has often been interpreted as one that postulates a master-slave society and has been identified with totalitarian philosophies. Many scholars deny the connection and attribute it to misinterpretation of Nietzsches work.
    Heart of Daftness: Chapter Two
    This novel is about the politics of colonization. It gives examples of what colonization does to the colonizers as well as the colonized. 
    The main characters in this novel are Marlow and Kurtz. The novel shows the development in their characters.
    The complexity starts in the second chapter. Now, Marlow's mission is clear.. This is where we got more about Kurtz. His character becomes clearer and clearer.
    This part has a very strong criticism of those people, the savages. It sheds light on the impression about Africa. There is a reference to cannibalism; the worst form of barbarism in western thinking .It is the worst extreme of savagery.
    • One lazy day, Marlow is napping out on deck when he hears the manager and his uncle talking about something faintly interesting. Make that extremely interesting: Kurtz. So Marlow eavesdrops.
    • The manager and his uncle are unhappy with Kurtz. He's too influential with the powers that be. They think he's stealing ivory. They oh-so-nicely hope the climate will kill him.
    • Apparently, Kurtz once came down the river to send the ivory to the Company but then decided to turn back. No one knows why.
    • All the Englishmen think this is odd and confusing. Marlow, however, who has developed something of an obsession with this guy he's never met, thinks it is admirable.
    • The men keep jabbering until the uncle tells the manager not to worry, but instead to trust "this," which involves a gesture to the surroundings since "this" means the scary African wilderness. 
    • Marlow is so scared by "this" that he jumps out of his hiding place, which in turn scares the living bejeebus out of manager and uncle. To cover up their screams of fright, they pretend to ignore him and go back up to the station.
    • Soon afterward, the Eldorado Exploring Expedition leaves. Marlow learns later that all their donkeys die. This implies that the men died too. It also means they were killed by [gesture to surroundings] "this."
    • It takes two months of going upriver through the scary forest to reach Kurtz's station. The trip is seriously scary. So much so that Marlow describes it as traveling back to the beginning of time, before the dawn of mankind. There are huge forests, aggressive animals, and an unnerving stillness in the air. Marlow feels tiny next to this immense wilderness. So small that he compares his steamboat to a beetle.
    • One of the listeners interrupts Marlow's narratives. Everyone is entranced by Marlow's story.
    • They have cannibals on board. Except they don't eat one another now, out of respect for their employers. Instead they eat rotten hippo meat.
    • By now, Marlow really has become obsessed with Kurtz. He considers his journey into the interior purely a trip to visit Kurtz.
    • In fact, he finds himself identifying with the native Africans hiding out in the bush. He recognizes a "remote kinship." The only reason he doesn't go ashore "for a howl and a dance" is because he's a busy man.
    • Marlow tells us all about the cannibal fireman on board. He is the kind of fireman that starts fires (in the boiler), not the kind that puts them out. The fireman has been told that if the water in the boiler ever disappears, the evil spirit inside will take revenge. That's how they make him work.
    • Fifty miles before they arrive at the Inner Station, they run across a pile of firewood and I warning message: "Approach cautiously/' which might be translated as "RUN AWAY NOW." But Marlow and Co. steam onward.
    • They find an abandoned hut with a book inside. It's entitled "An Inquiry into some Points of Seamanship" and is full of sailor shop-talk. Even though Marlow doesn't understand it, it comforts him. The book seems to be written in an unknown or secret language. It gives him a touchstone to reality.
    • At sundown of the second day, they decide to stop and rest. The night is eerily still. At dawn, a thick fog falls and prevents everyone from seeing anything. The men anchor.
    • Naturally, trouble ensues. They hear a very loud and sad-sounding shouting somewhere in the mist. They're freaked out.
    • The cannibals, however, are calm and alert. In fact, one wants to find whoever is shouting and eat them.
    • Marlow wonders why the cannibals, being cannibals and all, haven't tried to eat one of the white pilgrims yet. We wonder, too. We're also very nervous about this whole situation.
    • It takes two hours for the fog to lift. When it does, they continue.
    • As they're crossing, they're attacked. The cannibals anticipate this and dive for the deck a split second before the arrows fall.
    • The cannibal helmsman is the most freaked out. He abandons his position steering the boat, grabs a big gun, and shoots into the bush. A disgruntled Marlow is forced to do some energetic emergency steering.
    • In the meantime, the helmsman gets himself killed. By a spear. In the chest. He falls and a pool of blood oozes around Marlow's shoes. Marlow, horrified, watches the man die at his feet.
    • Marlow blows the steam-whistle to scare off the attackers. It works (better than the gun, at least). He ponders the dead helmsman and thinks that Kurtz must be dead too. The thought is profoundly depressing to him. He can't get over how much he wanted to hear Kurtz speak. This is interesting. He didn't want to meet Kurtz or shake his hand. Just wanted to hear his voice. We find out that Marlow is obsessed with voices. (So much so that we feel obligated to dog-ear all the pages in our text that have to do with voices. You also might want to take note of them in your book...)
    • At this point, Marlow breaks the narrative again, saying his listeners cannot possibly understand without being there. There's also a lot of confusing mention of matters in his story that we haven't gotten to yet - that he will, in fact, get to see Kurtz, that Kurtz is, in fact, little more than a voice, that there's something to do with a girl and the phrase "My Intended." Either Marlow is a bad story teller or this is an intentional authorial use of "prolepsis," or giving away pieces of the ending before it's time to do so.
    • Marlow now skips ahead in his story and tells us about a report Kurtz wrote in 13 pages for the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs. It says that white men must approach the native Africans as though the white men are "supernatural beings" so that "we can exert a power for good practically unbounded." In other words, he says, make the Africans think of us as gods and they'll do whatever we say.
    • Marlow is struck by the expressive power of the words. Kurtz, whatever his faults, is an incredible writer. But Kurtz sort of lost it at the end, and scrawled a handwritten "p.s." that said "Exterminate all the brutes!"
    • Back to Marlow's story. Marlow throws the helmsman's corpse overboard so that cannibals will not fight over his body.
    • They arrive at the Inner Station. There, they meet a boyish man (Kurtz's disciple) dressed like a harlequin - his clothes are all colorful with different patches.
    • He insists that the Africans who attacked Marlow and Co. didn't mean any harm. Marlow' is struck by his rapid babbling. The harlequin justifies this by saying that one doesn't talk with Kurtz; one only listens to him. So he's making up for lost babbling by talking a million miles an hour with Marlow.
    • Marlow lets him smoke his pipe so that the tobacco calms him down. The harlequin is a son of a Russian arch-priest who went looking for adventure on the English ships. He's been in the interior for two years, which is about three years longer than a normal person can handle. Marlow discovers that the little abandoned hut was the harlequin's. So Marlow returns the sailor's book. He discovers that the "cipher" language he couldn't read before is Russian.
    • At this point, the harlequin confesses why the native Africans attacked. The truth is shocking: they don't want Kurtz to leave.
    The Text:
    "One evening as I was lying flat on the deck of my steamboat, I heard voices approaching --..... Look at the influence that man must have... They had been talking about Kurtz" P.45
    • We see here how everybody is jealous of Mr. Kurtz. Those men are the center of hypocrisy and gossip. They hate each other.
    • We feel that there is something wrong in the way Kurtz running things. He seems to a very important and powerful person.
    "I was broad awake by this time, but, lying perfectly at ease, remained still, having no inducement to change my position...... Each station should be like a beacon on the road towards better things, a centre for trade of course, but also for humanizing, improving, instructing.....You know the foolish notions that come to one sometimes. The high stillness confronted these two figures with its ominous patience, waiting for the passing away of a fantastic invasion, "p.47
    • This refers to the idea of self-restraint. The white people lost all self-restraint in their greed for ivory.
    "Restraint! What possible restraint? Was it superstition, disgust, patience, fear - or some kind of primitive honour?......when I thought of it - than the curious, inexplicable note of desperate grief in this savage clamour that had swept by us on the river-bank, behind the blind whiteness of the fog." p. 58
    • This shows the theme of appearance vs. reality. The white people appear very strong, but they are weak in reality. Cannibals restraint themselves more. They exert a lot of self-control.
    "I laid the ghost of his gifts at last with a lie," he began; suddenly ...You should have heard him say, 'My ivory.' Oh, yes, I heard him. 'My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my — ' everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places. Everything belonged to him — but that was a trifle... All Europe contributed. "P.72
    • Here, this is Marlow talking about the fiancee which is a third very important female figure in the novel. He is also describing Mr. Kurtz. All Europe contributed in his birth. His mother was half-English, and his father was half-French. He is also a very well-educated person.
    • The white people regard themselves as superhuman beings. The native Africans see Kurtz as a god.
    "Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest... The inner truth is hidden — luckily, luckily. But 1 felt it all the same; I felt often its mysterious stillness watching me at my monkey tricks, just as it
    watches you fellows performing on your respective tight ropes for -- what is it? Half-a-crown tumble --" p.

    This quotation is vory important. It is not just § journey from the outside to the inside, but it is also a journey through the time to the primitive beginning of the mankind. Marlow is going to the roots of man, and how he starts to think.
    ”I beg your pardon. I forgot the heartache which makes up the rest of the price.....The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness... The pre-historic man was cursing us, praying to us, welcoming us --who could tell? We are cut off from the comprehension of our surroundings; we glided past like phantoms, wondering and secretly appalled, as sane men would be before an enthusiastic outbreak in a madhouse. We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember because we were travelling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign — and no memories, "p.
    • As Marlow goes deeper, he thinks more of the first people. The African people fear the European. That is natural; people usually fear what they do not know.
    "The earth seemed unearthly/. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there — there you amid look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly, and the men were — No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it — this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity — like yours — the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there.....
    • The Eurpoeans dehumanize the Africans. Marlow fears that they may be human. They are a symbol of the Id, the animal impulse inside us which is seen in those cannibals.
    • Usually, we do not like to deal with our Id and prefer to deny it. We always want to suppress it.
    • When we come face to face with our impulses, we get afraid. In this journey, the Id is not suppressed. Here; Marlow is reacting against the animal impulse inside him.
    "for the moment that was the dominant thought... The point was in his being a gifted creature, and that of all his gifts the one that stood out preeminently, that carried with it a sense of real presence, was his ability to talk, his words — the gift of expression, the bewildering, the illuminating, the most..."
    • Marlow is so anxious to meet Kurtz who becomes a legend and a supernatural being in the Africans' perspectives. He is the symbol of the success in the Empire.
    • The tension between Marlow and Kurtz is the tension between the Ego and the Id .Marlow is the Ego; he tells us what is right and what is wrong. Meanwhile, Kurtz becomes a pure Id, surrendering to all his desires. Super Ego is the society around them.
    "There was a pause of profound stillness, then a match flared, and Marlow's lean face appeared, worn, hollow, with downward folds and dropped eyelids, with an aspect of concentrated attention; and as he took vigorous draws at his pipe, it seemed to retreat and advance out of the night in the regular flicker of tiny flame. The match went out."
    • Here, the unnamed narrator comes and describes the old Marlow. The one who is telling the story is Young Marlow.