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...
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad When Joseph Conrad composed Heart of Darkness he created a literary masterpiece which embodied the essence of light contrasting with darkness. Throughout the novel Conrad constantly utilizes the images of light and dark and uses them to mold a vision, which the reader is then able to use to decipher the literal and metaphorical meanings of the novel. As Conrad said, “ my task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel- it is, before all, to make you see.” (Crankshaw 34) In Heart of Darkness Conrad makes the reader “see” by absorbing into every aspect possible of the book images of lightn... [tags: Joseph Conrad Novels Literature Essays]
4388 words (12.5 pages)
- Joseph Conrad was born in 1857 to Polish parents (Gorra 42). His classic novella Heart of Darkness is based largely on his personal journey to the Dark Continent in 1890. His naval adventures with the French Merchant Marines and British Merchant Service greatly influenced each of his works (Hampson 99). Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski was born on December 3, 1857 to members of the Polish gentry in a Russian occupied section of the country (Conrad 1 & Gorra 43). Before the should-be jubilant age of five, Conrad and his parents were exiled to an area north of Moscow.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness]
1088 words (3.1 pages)
- “Going Native” or Not In Joseph Conrad’s book, “Heart of Darkness”, the character Kurtz did not “go native”, but instead got corrupt by his power. For one to “go native”, one must “completely embrace the ways of life, the customs, the languages, and the laws of the natives” (Wintroub 1191) and even siding with the natives (Wintroub 1200). Kurtz shows that he does embrace the ways of life of the natives, but that he chooses to rule over them as a deity and command them to do his bidding. Throughout the book, Kurtz shows no sympathy to the native people nor views himself as one of them, but instead he treats them with such cruelty and views them as lesser beings to himself.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness]
1303 words (3.7 pages)
- Imagine what it must be like to live in a world of darkness. Marlow, the main character in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness experiences this first hand. As he travels through Africa, Marlow lives in a world of darkness as he witnesses the effects of imperialism, drastically altering his view of human kind. In the beginning, Marlow desires to travel to Africa because it is unclaimed land, only to discover imperialism now casts darkness upon the land. As the story progresses, Marlow witnesses the dark treatment of the natives as a result of imperialism.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Africa]
1622 words (4.6 pages)
- A protagonist is defined as a main character who is often considered to be the hero of the story. In contrast, the antagonist is someone who opposes the main hero or character, allowing the creation of a suspenseful storyline. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the readers are introduced to Marlow, who travels all the way to Africa down the Congo River, and slowly loses his sense of righteousness as he further travels down into the depths of the wilderness. His whole journey is fueled by his ambition to meet Kurtz, one of the workers for The Company (the place he works for which collects ivory).... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Morality]
1103 words (3.2 pages)
- Impressionism, “in which the understanding of knowledge comes from the experience from everyday life, as opposed to innate thought,” reflects the ideology of philosopher David Hume and connects to the central idea in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Hume’s theory of impressionism further emphasizes to the overall meaning of Heart of Darkness as a whole that in a primitive environment, such as the “darkness,” corrupts its inhabitants. Conrad integrates David Hume’s impressionism on a journey to the core of the African Congo led by Charlie Marlow, a character who makes observations based on the evil and menacing world around him rather than revealing his innermost thoughts.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Charles Marlow]
1044 words (3 pages)
- When read at face value, Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, is a portrayal of white, imperial, oppression of the African natives of the Congo. However, when we view the writing through the lenses of psychoanalysis and feminism, a story focused on one character, Marlow, emerges. Each theory presents a new way of interpreting and understanding the character development and imagery within the story. Psychoanalysis provides a look into the mind and dreamlike setting of Marlow. Feminism examines the binary gender roles of the characters, Marlow and Kurtz.... [tags: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Gender]
732 words (2.1 pages)
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of a hero is “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.” In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad explores the way greed and jealousy seize the goodness in a man’s heart, as well as the possibility of them becoming a courageous character. In his novel, Conrad displays that although Marlow and Kurtz are perceived as heroes due to their moral and noble attributes, they are unable to become true heroes. Their lust towards power and control over land and ivory ultimately expands the desire and expansion of darkness in the hearts of people who once had good intentions.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Hero, Novel]
1261 words (3.6 pages)
- Anchored at the mouth of the Thames river, five old friends pause their journey to wait out a tide at sundown. As they repose, they reminisce about the many great men and ships that travelled on river to complete multiple voyages for trade. Marlow’s excursion parallels that journey of the hero. He enters the Congo as an innocent sailor and leaves as a changed man. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad creates an allegory and archetypal journey that consists of: the task, the journey, the initiation, the fall, and the unhealable wound created during the expedition.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Apocalypse Now]
1730 words (4.9 pages)
- “I had him at my back – a help – an instrument.” (Conrad 76) This is Marlow’s response to the death of his African native helmsmen on his steamboat. This quote displays his view of the black natives as instruments used to achieve a goal. According to Marlow the natives are a lesser race and are uncivilized brutes or animals. Marlow, Kurtz and the manager portray how power and greed, as well as the regard they hold for the native’s lives affects them in a negative way. They hold no regard for the locals and they view them as property and a way to gain prestige.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, White people]
1038 words (3 pages)