Authors

Doreen Strauhs

Abstract

Imperial discourse and literary works from the colonial centre, such as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson, nurtured the image of Africa as the ‘dark continent’ and espoused the idea that its inhabitants are ‘inarticulate dirty savages’ (Conrad 20). In concordance with the colonial idea of the muted and naïve native, Rudyard Kipling’s popular notion of the ‘white man’s burden’ became a synonym for the European imperial mission: the poor ‘blacks’ of Africa had to be lifted onto the stage of sophistication and civilisation and to be led into the light and blessings of Jesus Christ.

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