The Secret Sharer Historical Context

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Many of Conrad's works, including "The Secret Sharer," were inspired by the author's journeys as a seaman. In 1890 Conrad went to work in the Congo. Before this time, Africa had largely been ignored by Europe, but the end of the 1800s brought a surge of interest in the continent, which experienced great changes as it became the site of rapid colonization. The 1870s sparked intense rivalry among Belgium, Germany, the United States, and older colonial powers, especially Great Britain, to create world empires. The scramble for control of Africa stirred heated debate about relations with the continent's natives. Stimulated by the abolitionist movements of the 1800s, Europeans began to ponder with increasing frequency the differences-if any-between African slaves and themselves. Conrad shared a stance taken by others in Great Britain, namely that Belgium's King Leopold was doing no more than ripping off riches...

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This section contains 190 words
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The Secret Sharer from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.