An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

Length: 1464 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness In the twentieth century, nihilistic themes, such as moral degeneration, man's bestial instincts at the core of the soul, and cosmic purposelessness, have preoccupied many works of literature and philosophy. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is no exception. In his novel, Conrad uses a unique writing style to explore man's fundamental fallibility and moral confusion in an existential world through his character's journey on the Congo River.
The story¡¯s exposition sets the stage as Marlow tells his story to his fellow sailormen while they wait for the tide to turn on the Thames River. In his story, Marlow signs up to work abroad for the Belgian Company to where he believes is exciting uncharted territory at the heart of Africa, still black with mystery on the map. The rising action continues to build up as Marlow witnesses how cruelly the Company employees treat the natives and how the Europeans (including himself eventually) break down mentally and physically in the African environment. Marlow also grows more intrigued at the prevalent reputation of the mysterious trader Kurtz who is rumored to be a remarkable and humane man. Conflicts arise in Marlow's struggle between his value of ¡°civilization¡± and the evil within man and finally peak in the climax, where, upon finally reaching the Inner Station, Marlow realizes that Ku...

... middle of paper ... is indeed sinful and without God in the picture, he would have no reason for hope and every reason to despair at his fundamental fallibility. Unlike Nihilism, however, the Christian places his loyalty on God and trusts in the enlightening and absolute truth that God is sovereign and that He is good.
In conclusion, I thought this was a very thought-provoking piece of work and a fascinating exploration of the human soul without God in it. I would strongly recommend the book to readers with an open mind and a willingness to take a second look after reading. Its story, theme, style, and worldview, unify the book into an unforgettable portrayal of man's heart of darkness.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Essay

- Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is a story about Marlow’s journey to discover his inner self. Along the way, Marlow faces his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination on his trek to the inner station. Marlow, who goes on his journey to meet Kurtz, already has a fascination with Kurtz after listening to many people along the way. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could become. Marlow says about himself, "I was getting savage," meaning that he was becoming more like Kurtz....   [tags: Marlow Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Essays]

Strong Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

- Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad When Joseph Conrad composed Heart of Darkness he created a literary masterpiece which embodied the essence of light contrasting with darkness. Throughout the novel Conrad constantly utilizes the images of light and dark and uses them to mold a vision, which the reader is then able to use to decipher the literal and metaphorical meanings of the novel. As Conrad said, “ my task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel- it is, before all, to make you see.” (Crankshaw 34) In Heart of Darkness Conrad makes the reader “see” by absorbing into every aspect possible of the book images of lightn...   [tags: Joseph Conrad Novels Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
4388 words (12.5 pages)

Essay on Horror of Horrors

- Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner each portray a globe-trotting journey that takes a turn for the metaphysical. Often grotesque, but always eye-opening, the imagery and abstraction present in these works serves to emphasize their spiritual nature. While this nature is not be ignored, equally perceptive techniques present moral ambiguity, social commentary on the role of women, the actions of a sinful soul in a place with no law, and, ultimately, redemption. Kurtz and the Ancient Mariner present sin and ambiguous morality in a lawless place....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Conrad, Heart of Darkness]

Strong Essays
1075 words (3.1 pages)

Heart Of Darkness: Marlow's Return Essay

- “No, they did not bury me, though there is a period of time which I remember mistily, with a shuddering wonder, like a passage through some inconceivable world that had no hope in it and no desire. I found myself back in the sepulchral city resenting the sight of people hurrying through the streets to filch a little money from each other, to devour their infamous cookery, to gulp their unwholesome beer, to dream their insignificant and silly dreams. They trespassed upon my thoughts. They were intruders whose knowledge of life was to me an irritating pretence, because I felt so sure they could not possibly known the things I knew....   [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Passage Analysis]

Free Essays
1795 words (5.1 pages)

The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent Essay

- The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent Joseph Conrad’s s novel “Heart of Darkness” portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as “so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness”, (Conrad 2180) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were scattered all over the world. This phenomenon and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of “Heart of Darkness” publication....   [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Analysis]

Free Essays
1683 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

- An Analysis of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness The early years of Joseph Conrad were rather unpleasant, but he managed to prevail and became a prolific writer of English fiction. Joseph Conrad was born Jozkef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski to a Polish family in a Ukranian province on December 3, 1857 (Heart of Darkness). When Joseph Conrad was just three years old, his father was arrested on suspicion of revolutionary affiliation. At eight years of age, Conrad witnessed his mother die of tuberculosis....   [tags: biographical and literary analysis]

Strong Essays
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay examples

- ... Is it talking about darkness in the literal or figurative sense. Would we be considered naïve if we thought evil could be contained or is darkness a necessary evil we all posses and an undeniable part of our reality. Reality. Are we, the sentimental beings driven by passion, hope and emotional bonds ever able to cope with raw reality. Whether reality is there, sitting on a chair in front of us, looking at us right in the eye or whether reality hides itself under false pretense or human facade is irrelevant....   [tags: story analysis]

Strong Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

The Heart of Darkness in Joseph Conrad Essay

- Joseph Conrad is the author of the novel, The Heart of Darkness, along with many other profound works. Compared on any scale, Conrad is nowhere near average. Joseph Conrad is a very interesting character who sees the world through wide eyes. By traveling the world and exploring the many walks of life he is able to discuss common global views and habits that include injustices which are explained in his renowned novel, The Heart of Darkness. As a child Conrad was born in Berdichev, Ukraine on the third day of December in 1857....   [tags: Literacy Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1630 words (4.7 pages)

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

- Marlow and the Mariner in Heart of Darkness and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are both morally ambiguous characters with many similarities. Each embarks on a great journey in which their character is tested numerous times. Their trials lead to many profound revelations about humanity, which are explored in ways only possible because of their hazy morality. At the start of their adventures, both Marlow and the Mariner were only sailors looking for adventure and fortune. The motivations for their actions were simple; Marlow was “lost in all the glories of exploration” (pg....   [tags: Character Analysis, Darkness]

Strong Essays
861 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Heart of Darkness

- King Leopold II of Belgium is known for being one of the most brutal racists in history. His inhumane treatment of Africans in the Congo was revealed in photographs that surfaced and that were taken to emphasize his cruel behavior over the Africans in the Congo. His motive for this inhumanity was pure greed. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, although does not embody the vicious behavior of King Leopold II, contributes to the racism of that period in other ways. Because of this, the novel can be interpreted in different ways from a racism standpoint....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Joseph Conrad]

Strong Essays
2028 words (5.8 pages)