How does Haggard describe relations between the white heroes and the native Africans? How do the white heroes establish their position with the Africans? Who is in charge?
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In H. Rider Haggard’s day, racism was rampant in English culture. The drive to colonize various non-European nations necessitates an assumed inferiority on the part of those nations. Quatermain is often the voice of racist assumptions, treating Kafirs as superstitious children and seeking to awe the Kukuanas through scientific trickery couched in magical terms. He even goes so far as to state that white men only marry white women when offered a bride from among the Kukuanas.
However, Quatermain’s prejudices are contradicted by the people and events he narrates. Ignosi and his people are noble, dignified, courageous, and happy. They have no need of outside influence, and Ignosi plans to prevent such interaction, and by force, if necessary. The notion of white superiority is hereby defeated, but the concept of segregation is not. Even Ignosi believes it is better for white and black men to keep to themselves.