Annotated Bibliography Blagodarskiy, Vas. “Critical Analysis of Social Issues in ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad.” Articlesbase. 20 Oct. 2009. Web. 30 May 2013. The main social issue in Heart of Darkness deals with abandoning European morals when faced with the power of colonialism. The two main characters, Kurtz and Marlow – once noble men – both face this challenge. Thus, the main theme in the novella can be defined as absurdly hypocritical practices of imperialism, with motifs such as ironic understatements, inability to accurately word things due to their horribleness, and, of course, darkness. Brown, Alistair. “Heart Of Darkness And Victorian Anthropology.” The Pequod. Web. 30 May 2013. Well known for the way in which it has many layers of narration, Heart of Darkness recreates the detached ways in which the Victorian anthropologist gathered data on, and represented, native culture. In the scene with the 'African Queen,' Conrad creates a dramatic drawing together of objective, rational, Europeanism with abstract, magical Africanism, a crossing of the "shadow lines" which exposes the falsehood of making a scientific distinction between observer and patron, and observed and patronized. Kaplan, Carola. “Colonizers, Cannibals, and the Horror of Good Intentions in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.” Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. 67-80. Print. This is a great starting point for any research into critical approaches as far as “Heart of Darkness” is concerned because of how far reaching the discussions in the article are. Not only does Kaplan talk about Kipling-esque colonization (see Raskin below) and morality, she provides an analysis of the text in which she finds this tension between white and black, right and wrong, and civilized and savage. The other great part
of this analysis is that Kaplan discusses other members of the cannon of Western literature and how Conrad projects British colonial fears and motivations rather than Achebean racism. Lackey, Michael. "The Moral Conditions for Genocide in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness." College Literature 32.1 (2005): 20-41. Print. Many of Conrad’s critics will analyze “Heart of Darkness” through the lens of morality, but Lackey makes it clear that doing so “is problematic at best and completely misguided at worst” (Lackey 21). While much of the first part of Lackey’s argument centers around Judeo-Christian morals as outlined by the Bible, it is useful to see how contradictory such a view of the novella can be. Furthermore, Lackey finishes his article by discussing British society, interpretation, and the characters themselves (particularly Kurtz), and how they could, but should not, be analyzed through the dichotomies and contradictions of morality. Lawtoo, Nidesh. “A Picture of Europe: Possession Trance in Heart of Darkness.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45.3 (Fall 2012): 409-432. Print. The article discusses the representation of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" whose essays interpret as presenting a picture of Europe rather than an image of Africa, and which critics use as evidence to prove Conrad's racism. It particularly focuses on the rituals written by Conrad wherein Africans dance to the sound of drums in a state of frenzy. It states, however, that the representation's interpretation might be used as a means to realize the dreadfulness of ritual frenzy in any place. Lawtoo, Nidesh. “The Horror of Mimesis: Enthusiastic Outbreak[s] in Heart of Darkness.” Conradiana 42.1/2 (Spring-Summer 2010): 46-74. Print. A literary criticism of Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" is presented. It explores the idea of identification in
Charlie Marlow's ambivalent relationship to his double, Mr. Kurtz, which it says fits Conrad's career-long fascination with the homo duplex or double human. A discussion on Conrad's concept of affective mimesis, a form of behavioral imitation that creates a psychological confusion...
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