Victorians and Africans: The Genealogy of the Myth of the Dark Continent

  title={Victorians and Africans: The Genealogy of the Myth of the Dark Continent},
  author={Patrick Brantlinger},
  journal={Critical Inquiry},
  pages={166 - 203}
In Heart of Darkness, Marlow says that Africa is no longer the "blank space" on the map that he had once daydreamed over. "It had got filled since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names.... It had become a place of darkness."' Marlow is right: Africa grew "dark" as Victorian explorers, missionaries, and scientists flooded it with light, because the light was refracted through an imperialist ideology that urged the abolition of "savage customs" in the name of civilization. As a product of… 
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