A Minor Charater in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

A Minor Charater in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Length: 546 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


A Minor Charater in Heart of Darkness

 

Heart of Darkness is a novel in which many relatively minor characters serve major functions in the overall meaning of the work. One such character is Kurtz's Intended who starkly contrasts against Kurtz's evil to better show the evil and primal side of man.

 

 

The Intended is the embodiment of man's denial of the truth of inner evil. In the painting of the Intended, her blindfold shows her blindness to the truth, symbolized by the torch she holds. The truth of man's evil is within her grasp, but yet she allows herself to be blinded so she cannot accept this to be true. She is in denial -- as far as she knows, if she can't see the evil or that it holds a penetrating presence, it does not exist to her.

 

 

Ironically, however, Conrad describes the Intended as having "a shade of truthfulness upon [her] features." She is an innocent -- the word "halo" compounds that notion; however this too is ironic. She is only a person, just as capable of malevolence as anyone else, which is symbolized by the black she wears. Marlow only lies about Kurtz's life and death to spare the Intended the knowledge of what Kurtz had become -- a manifestation of raw human evil. Marlow is the blindfold that shields her from the truth that Kurtz fell to a natural inner compulsion towards iniquity, and that this inner evil exists everywhere.

 

 

Because she denies the existence of an inner evil, the Intended is only as innocent as a human being can be. This innocence contrasts severely with Kurtz's own evil. This innocent girl was the fiancee of a murderer "demi-god" who decapitated people. She is the innocent side of the relationship, or the yang. She is pure, but with a spot of darkness being the potential for evil only because she is human. Kurtz is the dark side of the relationship, the yin. He is an "animated figure of death" who once was noble and innocent, like the fiancee. He went to Africa with good intentions, but was corrupted by unadulterated freedom. With no society to tell him how to act, he fell prey to his inner darkness.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Minor Charater in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=15136>.

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]

Research Papers
1240 words (3.5 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]

Research Papers
1101 words (3.1 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]

Research Papers
1441 words (4.1 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]

Research Papers
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a story of change, and not all of the modifications that the characters make are positive. Most of the decisions that are forced upon the main characters are harsh and overwhelming, and the pressure of these choices seems to always make a character revert to their most barbaric state. “Albert Guerard (Language, Psychoanalysis) asserts that Heart of Darkness isn’t really about Africa, it’s a metaphor for a psychological exploration to the heart of human nature and the animal selves that lurk beneath our civilized veneers....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Savage]

Research Papers
1222 words (3.5 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]

Research Papers
1187 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent

- Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent: A Critique of Late-Victorian Gender Roles February 15, 1894, was the most interesting afternoon in the otherwise dreary history of Greenwich Observatory. Earlier in the day, Martial Bourdin, a skinny anarchist, traveled by train from Westminster to Greenwich, concealing a small bomb. As he ominously ambled through Greenwich Park, towards the Observatory, something happened - no one knows exactly what - and he blew most of himself to shreds. The British, who loved to quantify in the late nineteenth century, noted that the explosion spread bits of flesh over a distance of sixty yards....   [tags: Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent]

Research Papers
4961 words (14.2 pages)

Essay Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer

- Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer” “ In order to live with direction and an understanding of what is going on around you, one must understand and know what goes on inside himself.” - William Page In Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer”, the Captain of the vessel finds that he does not know himself as well as he thinks. It is not until a castaway, Leggatt, arrives that the captain finally achieves a level of self understanding and completion. Leggatt serves as the Captain’s complimenting double, and his actions and thoughts eventually help the captain learn about himself and create stronger character....   [tags: The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad]

Research Papers
1479 words (4.2 pages)

The Portrayal of Women in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Women have gained equality with men over the many centuries of the evolution of the modern western civilization. Hence, it cannot be overlooked that there still exist many literary examples of social disregard for woman potential. Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" exemplifies the Western patriarchal gender roles in which women are given the inferior status.<p> Not only are women portrayed as being inferior to men, but Marlow's (the protagonist's) seldom mentioning of them in his Congo adventure narrative symbolizes his view of their insignificance....   [tags: Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Youth by Joseph Conrad

- Youth by Joseph Conrad This analysis is based on the short story “Youth” by Joseph Conrad, in which involves the explanation of youth in relation to life. The story presents the theme that youth is somehow disillusioning. During the plot progression, it shows the perceptions and thinking of the main character, Marlow, who is a young ship's officer fascinated by the air of adventure and romance of the exotic East. The main themes describe some aspect of human life and behaviour, some of which are idealism versus realism, survival and the trials and tribulations that are encountered through life....   [tags: Youth Joseph Conrad Essays]

Research Papers
494 words (1.4 pages)

Related Searches

The Intended is confined by society -- another reason why she cannot possibly comprehend or even want to know about the inner evil of man.

 

 

When Kurtz's health rapidly starts to deteriorate, he speaks out in delerium about this choking evil and how he feels innocents should be protected from the knowledge of it. He says "we must help [the women] stay in that beautiful world of their own, lest ours gets worse." He feels that the preservation of ignorance is better than the knowledge of this despotic truth. Once the presence of this natural evil is discovered, a person is nearly always committed to its path. Kurtz's feelings for his intended make him realize that not all truths should be known.

 

 

The Intended symbolizes man's denial and unwillingness to learn truths too awful to know. A person should be aware of his own natural malevolence, yet not become evil, finding a balance in between. Conrad shows through the Intended that some truths should never be known.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com