Heart of Darkness Book Review

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Book Review: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Title: Heart of Darkness
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publishing: Green Integer
Year: October 1, 2003 (original 1890)
Pages: Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN: 1892295490 (ISBN13: 9781892295491)

Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is one of the most well-known works among scholars of classical and post-colonial literature. It is thought provoking and ominous, but is also considered to be one of the most highly stylistic in its class. The novel blends the use of narrative, symbolism, deep and challenging characters, and psychological evaluation of the reader (which Conrad is well known for). Joseph Conrad was born in Berdichev, Poland in 1874. He first became familiarized with English language at age eight; because his father translated works of Shakespeare, Conrad became interested writing. He was an intelligent child, and did well in school. He further studied in Cracow and Switzerland, but his love for the sea beckoned him to explore, sail, and learn a new style of life. In 1874 he took a job on a ship, and began his lifelong fascination for sea travel. He later got involved in gunrunning in the West Indies; because he liked to gamble, his addiction racked up huge debts which led him to attempt suicide. His brush with death opened his eyes, and he then realized that changes needed to be made in his life. In 1878 he found himself in England, where he spent the next 16 years of his life in the British navy. This had a profound impact on his writing, and it really developed and deepened his passion for the sea. He found himself as a captain of a steamboat on the Congo River in 1889. His experiences there are what inspired the novel (1902). Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness' draws a parallel between the physical journey of the main character, Charles Marlow, and his mental or spiritual journey as he travels more deeply into the physical darkness of the African continent; A story within a story. It begins with the frame...
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