Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

Length: 1388 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The novella, Heart of Darkness (1899), written by Joseph Conrad, is one big metaphor for the insatiable desire for land and commodity of Imperialist Europe. The protagonist is Charlie Marlow, a steamer captain during the Scramble to Africa, tells his crew of his travels into the heart of Africa, up the Congo River to an ivory trading station, deep within the impenetrable forest of Congo. He is trying to get to Mr. Kurtz- a lead ivory exporter of the area. Praising this mysterious authoritarian figure, Marlow is transformed by what he witnesses. The covetous, primal nature of selfishness is within all, and is conveyed in Heart of Darkness by the greed of ivory, commodity and power. In Heart of Darkness, all characters have an intense need to covet a certain thing. The Harlequin worships Kurtz, Kurtz cares about ivory more than his own life, and Marlow essentially craves Kurtz, however, in a different way than the Harlequin.
Kurtz’s disciple, The Harlequin, is a blind follower of Kurtz who views him as a god. “The glamour of youth enveloped [the Harlequin’s] parti-coloured rags, his destitution, his loneliness… (101-102), meaning he’s never been a rich man, therefore he’s likely uneducated and more likely to be an even greater disciple of Kurtz by not seeing the man’s true selfishness. The Harlequin worships Kurtz. He finds a way to justify and praise everything Kurtz has done to him or anyone else, because he has such a passion for him. “He wanted to shoot me too one day,” the Harlequin tells Marlow, “but I don’t judge” (104). For the Harlequin, this is a fair gesture in his head, for after all, the Harlequin tells Marlow that Kurtz has "enlarged my mind” (100). The Harlequin views Kurtz so highly that he finds a way to justify h...


... middle of paper ...


... you.
The desperate need for material and commodity have enough power to drive people to the edge of rapacity, as seen in Heart of Darkness. Greed and voracious hunger of the white man show when they start exploring Africa. All characters in the novella, whether or not if they got what they coveted most, are forever changed by the end of their journey. Although the Harlequin didn’t get what he wanted, he was not near the same person as he was before he met Kurtz. Marlow and Kurtz both end up getting what they want, The former wanting Kurtz and the latter wanting precious ivory. The novella is a metaphor for life and possession: all of the characters in Heart of Darkness are possessed by possession, or what they crave most. Ultimately, they stop acting with autonomy and are addicted to commodity. This ends up either destroying the character or making them disappear.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

- Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, showcases a steady decline of one 's sanity, through the voyage that the main character, Marlow, takes through the Congo River; this is shown by the french ship firing into the jungle, Kurtz’s letters, and the stops at the three stations: the outer, center, and inner. The first showcase of madness in this novella is when Marlow is about to enter the congo and he sees a French war ship firing randomly into the jungle. The French have a French warship firing into an uninhabited land, so they can battle the natives that live the congo....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad]

Strong Essays
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- The novella, Heart of Darkness (1899), written by Joseph Conrad, is one big metaphor for the insatiable desire for land and commodity of Imperialist Europe. The protagonist is Charlie Marlow, a steamer captain during the Scramble to Africa, tells his crew of his travels into the heart of Africa, up the Congo River to an ivory trading station, deep within the impenetrable forest of Congo. He is trying to get to Mr. Kurtz- a lead ivory exporter of the area. Praising this mysterious authoritarian figure, Marlow is transformed by what he witnesses....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad]

Strong Essays
1388 words (4 pages)

Use of Light and Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Use of Light and Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness     Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness contrasts light and darkness, to represent the civilized and uncivilized sides of the world. Conrad uses light to represent the civilized side of humanity while contrasting the dark with the uncivilized and savage. Throughout the thematic stages of the novel, that is the Thames river London, the company's office in Belgium, the journey to the "heart of darkness" and the conclusion, light and dark is used to represent these sides of humanity, but on a deeper level many assumptions of darkness and light are challenged, with the appearance of light and dark, and in turn good and evil contras...   [tags: Heart Darkness essays Joseph Conrad ]

Strong Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- The Heart of Darkness, a complex text was written by Joseph Conrad around the 19th century, when Europeans were colonizing Africa for wealth and power and were attempting to spread their culture and religion in Africa. It was also a period in which women were not allowed to participate in worldly affairs. Therefore, the text deals with issues such as racism, European imperialism, and misogyny. This essay will look at the different themes in the novel and argue whether or not The Heart of Darkness is a work of art....   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Africa]

Strong Essays
1101 words (3.1 pages)

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]

Strong Essays
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

- Take a moment to think about the social corruption that has taken place all around the world. In the novella, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Kurtz is a legend and acquires the most ivory around. People believe that he is good at his job until Marlow travels to the Inner Station. Marlow finds that Kurtz has enslaved the Natives to bring him ivory, if they fail to do so, they get punished. He is viewed like a God by the Natives, Kurtz believes that they need help and guidance to civilization....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Corruption]

Strong Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- The novel, The Heart of Darkness, is written by Joseph Conrad. Throughout the story he puts many literary devices to use. The most apparent method he used was the symbolism of light and darkness. Marlow, the narrator, throughout the story makes the Europeans which are white, equivalent to the light in the world, while he makes the Africans, whom are black, equivalent to the darkness in the world. As Marlow proceeds further into the Inner Station, the darkness and lightness symbols mix with meanings that make them contradictory to what they normally mean....   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Colonialism]

Strong Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

- Joseph Conrad’s s book Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical land of Africa as “so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness”, (Conrad 154) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were spread all over the world. This event and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication....   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Human]

Strong Essays
1441 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

- The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Marlow, an ordinary sailor with idealistic dreams, goes on a dark yet fascinating journey as a newly hired riverboat captain, traveling up the Congo River, seeking out the legendary chief of the Belgium trading company. When describing typical sites and events situated in the Congo, Joseph Conrad wrote "The Heart of Darkness" in a first person's view, with Marlow as the highlight character. As he writes on about Marlow's experiences, he portrays typical issues set in the time period of the late 1800's, such as slavery, trading and imperialism....   [tags: Joseph Conrad Heart Darkness]

Strong Essays
1187 words (3.4 pages)

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" written in 1902 is an overwhelming chronicle of Marlow's journey into the heart of the African continent. It is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century. In this ghastly and horrific tale, Marlow leads an expedition up the Congo River, only to find everything is not as it seems. This haunting and mysterious story takes him into the unbearable core of the jungle. The novel also explores trade and exploration, imperialism and colonization....   [tags: Heart Darkness Joseph Conrad Essays]

Strong Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)