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. Kurtz who think they are doing what is best, when in reality they are creating more confusion and damage. “It also examines how ideology works in this imperialist framework and the Marxist view of its function in such a capitalist society.” (Sardar)
In Heart of Darkness, the main character, Marlow, sets out on an expedition on board a steamboat up the Congo River. This story takes its readers on a journey filled with horror and darkness, through the African jungle in search of the famous ivory-trader, Mr. Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz is worshiped by the natives and he makes good use of it. Marlow has heard many wonderful and fantasizing stories of this so-called Mr. Kurtz and holds him to his greatest expectations. He idolized Mr. Kurtz so much that just seeing his face would suffice for Marlow. Everything wasn’t a walk in the park, and many unexpected things happened when Marlow was most vulnerable. Marlow’s adventurous story is told by an anonymous narrator on the steamboat, and this is known as a framed-tale. The frame makes Heart of Darkness, way more than just an average adventure up ...
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...e real world. This is a marxist example because he lived as if he was on top of the world, nothing was going wrong, and things were as they would be if they lived in a utopia. Now, he’s dying as if the whole world is crashing, things are absolutely terrible, and nothing is going the way they should be. He associates death with the destruction, horror, and fear. And he associates life with a utopia theme. The horrifying thing about this book was the fact that “savage” native people had the better advantage over the white because they totally outnumbered them. Marlow knew these things, yet kept his mouth shut because he thought that the power would be abused if in the wrong hands. Little did he know that the natives were not the problem. These are the marxism and imperialism cores we found-power being held in the wrong hands can be abused and can cause destruction.
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