In imperialism research papers, writers point out that imperialism itself can be seen the paradox that Marx saw in the Victorian Era. Hannah Arendt writes: “This is the period of Imperialism, with its stagnant quiet in Europe and breathtaking developments in Asia and Africa”. The men of the time saw the lands they conquered as savage, dark places. Kurtz, in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, comes closest to the ideal character of imperialism and European fears that, although they may be conquering the territory, the native environment was conquering their souls. But Kurtz is a mature understanding of the preoccupations of the age; an imperialism research paper brings up H. Rider Haggard, whose novels She and King Solomon’s Mines were unconscious reactions to a period of uncertainty in sex roles.
It can perhaps be argued that both Imperialism and the male romance novels of the period are indicative of the redefining male role in the period. Rather than being the confident world conqueror, such action, spurred on by thrilling manly stories of childhood, caused the power structure of society (men) to seek comfort in strict moral boundaries for women. The double standard of Victorian England held true in Africa, only white females were replaced with black natives: in either case, the group labeled “inferior” was expected to be submissive and complacent in their role.
Dostoevsky adds a uniquely Russian wrinkle to the dichotomy of Age with the narrator of Notes from Underground. Here, by his own admission, is a “sick man,” who refuses all manner of treatment, as if he enjoyed wallowing in his own misery. This is a man who enjoys being the spiteful government official, confirming the worst fears of many readers, that the officials behind the desk (precursors to the DMV) enjoyed making those in front miserable. This is man who believes it is bad manners to live past forty, but expresses a desire to live as long as p ossible, merely to be a burden to society. In Part 2 of the novel, Dostoevsky manages to reveal an Imperialism metaphor: “My life was even then gloomy, ill-regulated, and solitary as that of a savage”.