Joseph Conrad's Background and Heart of Darkness Plot Summary Essay

Joseph Conrad's Background and Heart of Darkness Plot Summary Essay

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Joseph Conrad was an author whose life was as equally amazing as the stories he wrote. In many cases, he derived the situations he wrote about from his many experiences as a seaman and adventurer. Born Teodor Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, of a patriotic Polish couple living in the Polish Ukraine, he did not have the average childhood of the time ("Bibliography" 1).


When Conrad was five years old, his father was arrested for alleged actions in revolutionary plots against Russia and was exiled to northern Russia with the young Conrad and his mother. Due to her already weak health, his mother did not last the imprisonment and died at the age of thirty-four. His father sent the young Conrad back to his uncle for an education. Orphaned at twelve years old due to his father's untimely death, Conrad entered a state of deep emotional stress ("Conrad, Joseph"). With the break of the strong bond shared by Conrad and his father, his writings as an adult would later convey a melancholic attitude.


After receiving a good education in Cracow, Poland, and spending time traveling, Conrad decided to leave Poland. At the age of sixteen, he left the grip of Russian-occupied Poland and set out for Marseilles, France to pursue the unlikely career choice of a life at sea. For the next four years he worked on French ships, smuggled guns to Spain, and was allegedly involved in a duel that wounded him. He continued to work at sea, which became an integral part of most of his works, and in 1878 at the age of twenty-one, Conrad left France for England ("Conrad, Joseph").


When he arrived in England, Conrad knew no English, but signed onto an English ship anyway. On this ship, he began to learn E...

... middle of paper ...

...incensed that he lied to the woman, but did nothing and left her.


Finally, the scene returns to the present deck of the Nellie where silence ensues with the end of Marlow's story. The men share no feelings of the emotional story they have just heard and are more or less indifferent. They just sit afloat on the Thames, which seems to flow into the endless "darkness" of the horizon.


Works Cited

"Bibliography of Joseph Conrad." Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1983.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1910.

"Conrad, Joseph." Microsoft Encarta. Microsoft Corporation; Funk & Wagnallis Corporation, 1994.

Guerard, Albert J. "Introduction." Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer. New York: Penguin Books, 1978.


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