Analysis Of The Book ' Heart Of Darkness ' Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' Heart Of Darkness ' Essay

Length: 1324 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1887, two years before succumbing to utter madness, existential philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes his ethical polemic, On the Genealogy of Morals, in search of a man with the strength to evolve beyond humanity:
But from time to time do ye grant me… one glimpse, grant me but one glimpse
only, of something perfect, fully realized, happy, mighty, triumphant, of
something that still gives cause for fear! A glimpse of a man that justifies the
existence of man… for the sake of which one may hold fast to the belief in
man! (Nietzsche, 18).
Nietzsche cringes before the civilization of Europe and seeks a man unencumbered by moral principles, principles that he believes form from the stifling existence of being surrounded by weaker beings. Nietzsche’s cry for a superman is realized in the quest of Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness. Marlow travels up the Congo River of Central Africa, driven by curiosity that morphs into raving monomania to find the premier Belgian ivory trader, Kurtz, a man seemingly distinguished from the hollow men of the Company, a man to make Nietzsche proud. But the average reader is not proud, as through Heart of Darkness Conrad displays for him the horror that lurks within his own soul through the flow of the story ever inward from the mouth of the Congo, to the Belgian ivory stations, to the innermost darkness, Kurtz himself.
Conrad’s narration is as smooth as a stream with a barely perceptible current bearing readers along with his story in blissful contentment, only to be jostled suddenly by waves of uncomfortable fact, then let down into lethargy and sweet beautiful language again. His words are a trap that carries readers into the perception of the most complete d...


... middle of paper ...


...rad’s Heart of Darkness leads the reader to see the horror of his own soul, as Conrad was forced to see the horror in the Congo. Marlow’s experience is based on Conrad’s work for the Belgians in 1890. He went to the Congo through lack of work only to find “that the rhetoric of progress and civilization masked a colonial regime of appalling rapacity and violence” (Jasanoff). Returning to Europe suicidal, Conrad said, “Everything here is repellent to me. Men and things, but men above all” (Jasanoff). One cannot help but wonder if Marlow’s acceptance of the company’s atrocities is Conrad’s self-abasement for his role in the atrocity. But if Conrad’s readers remember any message from Heart of Darkness let it not be that the Belgians committed evil deeds in the Congo in the past, but that man is capable of evil greater than any past regardless of place and time.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- When writers write, it is often to convey a deeper meaning or truth to it readers. With this in mind, we should first take the book at face value then analysis the story to see the point that the writer revels. In The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad does this very well. The story goes from what we originally thought as just a story of a journey into Africa to a story of indeed a journey to the hearts of men. Conrad’s truth in The Heart of Darkness is multi-layered in dealing with imperialism and colonialism, but leads us to a critique of humanity as a whole....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Africa]

Better Essays
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Heart Of Darkness : Critical Analysis

- Heart of Darkness: Critical Analysis Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, was written in the year 1902, a time of modernist literature. Heart of Darkness talks about the problems with alienation and confusion as much as it does about imperialism. In the early 1900’s, the lifestyle in England veered towards the Victorian values. Conrad’s novella makes a bridge to connect the Victorian values with the ideas of modernism. Thus “it belongs to a period of change.”(Sardar) For example, the natives are following in the footsteps of their predecessors, following a life of tradition, and their ideas of life are constantly being attacked by people like Mr....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Colonialism]

Better Essays
1413 words (4 pages)

Essay about The Character of Marlow in Heart of Darkness

- Heart of Darkness has been reviewed by many different critics. There are many issues in Joseph Conrad’s book such as imperialism, cruelty, and how isolation can change a person. A noticeable topic in the book is the ending with Marlow. The book has an outer and inner story. Marlow tells the inner story because it is of his previous experience in Africa. In the beginning of the book, Marlow says that he hates lying yet he lies to Kurtz’s Intended. In order to figure out why Marlow lied and how it affects the story, evidence from different sources must be viewed....   [tags: Heart of Darkness Essays]

Better Essays
2550 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Conrad 's ' Heart Of Darkness '

- Temptations in the Wilderness: On Isolation in Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness, follows the narration of Marlow, a former steamship captain, and his journey deep into the Congo. As the novel begins, Marlow ponders the way in which the Romans saw a Celtic Britain. He imagines that they saw the now golden land as a dark, savage wilderness void of civilization and culture. He recounts the dreariness of the office the company interviews him in, and the strange old women, weaving wool dark as night in the Mariana Trench, whom he likens to the Fates....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Heart, Novel]

Better Essays
2188 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on The Heart Of Darkness By John Conrad

- The Heart of Darkness is seen as a classic that many say shouldn’t be taught and many of those who think it should thinks the reader need to be very critical of it. The debate of it being taught stems from the debate of whether Conrad and his narrative are racist. Many have addressed the idea of racism, and furthermore how he depicts Africans. In my opinion, it is clearly a racist story, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it has racist tones especially when read by a modern day reader. On the other hand his view of Africans is also interesting to analysis, as it is questioned, just with the racism, if his views of them are just mirroring the popular opinion of the time....   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Africa]

Better Essays
1035 words (3 pages)

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a mysterious book where a man named Marlow is sent on a journey to someone named Kurtz. Marlow is enthusiastic about traveling so that 's how he got to this job. As soon as he got the job he is sent on a journey to work for kurtz. Kurtz is a well respected man whether it be for good as Marlow thinks or bad as others else thinks. On the journey Marlow mind starts to change as he witnesses more and more things that he is puzzled by and can 't make sense in his head....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Kurtz]

Better Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

- “He cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath– The horror. The horror!” (III, p. 178). There are many horrifying things in the world which are of all different orders of magnitude, from disasters that effect millions to insignificant fears of an individual: from catastrophes such as the holocaust to subtleties such as spiders. Conrad, in the Heart of Darkness shows each order, on it 's own level, all in one statement. The eminent Kurtz uttered the aforementioned quote as he was breathing his last, and incorporated all three levels of despair into his last two words....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, The Horror]

Better Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's ' Heart Of Darkness ' Essay

- “Going Native” or Not In Joseph Conrad’s book, “Heart of Darkness”, the character Kurtz did not “go native”, but instead got corrupt by his power. For one to “go native”, one must “completely embrace the ways of life, the customs, the languages, and the laws of the natives” (Wintroub 1191) and even siding with the natives (Wintroub 1200). Kurtz shows that he does embrace the ways of life of the natives, but that he chooses to rule over them as a deity and command them to do his bidding. Throughout the book, Kurtz shows no sympathy to the native people nor views himself as one of them, but instead he treats them with such cruelty and views them as lesser beings to himself....   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness]

Better Essays
1303 words (3.7 pages)

An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- 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....   [tags: Conrad Heart Darkness]

Better Essays
1464 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about Running into Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

- Heart Of Darkness: Running from the Truth In the novel Heart Of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad, the main character makes a decision to go against his convictions by telling a lie about Kurtz¹s death to the intended. After careful analysis of the situation, one can see that Marlow is justified in lying to the intended because the lie enables Marlow live the rest of his life without having to bear the weight of truth on his shoulders.                There was great meaning in the actual final words uttered by Kurtz....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Free Essays
535 words (1.5 pages)