By Jennifer Brown (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137292121

ISBN-13: 9781137292124

ISBN-10: 1349347841

ISBN-13: 9781349347841

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The Coral Island sees three boys exploring South Pacific islands. It is a novel for children, extolling Christianity and ideas of expanding the empire in which the Christian English-man is shown to be superior to the natives. Such novels are primarily concerned with disseminating a view of the colonial mission and also educating the young men expected to enforce the empire. Typical Victorian racist attitudes, which involve equating blackness with evil, are evident throughout. Christianity is proven by heroic action.

Benita Parry notes, in a post-colonial reading of Heart of Darkness, that while the novella is an ethical critique of European imperialism, its ‘racist idiom’ cannot be overlooked or ‘wished away’ (Parry 39–40). The personal marginality felt by Conrad has led to the suggestion that in fashioning an identity, he creates a style which is equally contradictory. R. Leavis criticized Conrad for his ‘adjectival insistence’ in Heart of Darkness, arguing that his use of conflicting adjectives makes his writing mysterious and incomprehensible.

Likewise, Graham Greene aligned King Solomon’s Mines (1885) with Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as examples of the ‘central problems of duality in the human personality’ and the knowledge of one’s past (Etherington 73 and Greene 20). Margaret Atwood sees the same link as Greene between Haggard’s and Conrad’s work: ‘the journey into the unknown regions of the self, the unconscious, and the confrontation with whatever dangers and splendours lurk there’ (in Etherington 73). Robinson Crusoe as the emerging individual encounters cannibals in his battle for moral superiority; likewise Haggard’s characters in their exploration of the inner self do battle with cannibals.

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