Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness

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Heart of Darkness The life of Joseph Conrad began on December 3, 1857, in the Polish Ukraine with the name Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. At a young age, Conrad’s father was exiled to Siberia after being thought to have plotted against the Russian government. After the passing away of his mother, Conrad was sent to live with his uncle in Krakow. Conrad never saw his father again. He worked as a seaman on English ships, and in 1880 became an officer in the British merchant service. Conrad was naturalized as a British citizen in 1886. In 1888, he was put in command of a steamship and made a voyage to the Belgian Congo in 1890. The experiences he had while in the Belgian Congo are said to have inspired the novel Heart of Darkness. The novel Almayer’s Folly was Conrad’s first published and is the one that sparked the idea to start a new career as an author. Other novels written by Conrad include: An Outcast of the Islands, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, and Under Western Eyes (“Joseph Conrad”). The time that Conrad lived in is known as the Victorian period. During the middle years of the century, a newfound spirit of optimism lifted the nation up. Victorians had a new economic policy of free trade with European nations. This can be seen in the life of Conrad since he worked in the British merchant service. Literacy improved and the public read numerous newspapers, books and magazines. This prosperity most likely assisted in making an author out of Joseph Conrad. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad writes about Marlow’s voyage up the Congo into the heart of Africa. Marlow is the captain of a steamship that is traveling to the central station to relieve Kurtz who is the leading ivory trader in the Company. Marl... ... middle of paper ... ... to be contemplated. The use of the elements of literature are everywhere in the novel Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad successfully leaves his audience angry over the injustice that is taking place on the Congo. He uses his characters to show that there is some savagery in all men. Kurtz embodies this point perfectly because he has this idea of being civilized and yet he is the one that has gone mad. This leads to the main theme of the book, the hypocrisy of imperialism. This is the idea that the Europeans are so much more humanized than the Africans, but they are the ones who are being more savage. The major symbols in the story are the river and darkness that surrounds it. The river symbolizes the land trying to expel the Company from its land and the darkness symbolizes evil. All these elements make up the great novel that Heart of Darkness is today.
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