Vague Descriptions in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Vague Descriptions in Heart of Darkness

A dark, unfamiliar setting and a suspenseful plot give Heart of Darkness the characteristics of a good novel, but what really stands out is Conrad's writing. The story is full of vague imagery and descriptions that the reader must contemplate in order to fully understand. Writing so vividly was an impressive feat for Conrad, who was actually not a native English speaker. (Dintenfass) His style includes a great deal of subtlety and complexity. Although it may seem as if Conrad was trying to confuse the reader, his actual goal was to create a work of art, rather that just a novel.

Several critics have put down Conrad's work because his writing is so vague; they claim that it lacks order and clarity. Conrad occasionally wrote back to these critics and explained why he chose to construct his stories in such a vague manner. Says Professor Mark Dintenfass, commenting on Conrad's own opinion about his writing: "For Conrad then, as for most modern artists, the world as we experience it is not the sort of place that can be reduced to a se...

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