Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Essay

Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Essay

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Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad


Heart of Darkness is a story about Marlow’s journey to discover his inner self. Along the way, Marlow faces his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination on his trek to the inner station. Marlow, who goes on his journey to meet Kurtz, already has a fascination with Kurtz after listening to many people along the way. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could become.

Marlow says about himself, "I was getting savage," meaning that he was becoming more like Kurtz. Along the trip into the wilderness, they discover their true selves through contact with the native people. On one occasion, the steamer is attacked by a party of natives, killing the helmsmen and frightening the crew. This event triggers a change in Marlow, who takes off his shoes, which were covered in his friend’s blood. This taking off of clothes is a return to nature, bringing about a more primitive Marlow. Even as Marlow ventures further up the Congo, he feels like he is traveling ba...

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