Heart of Darkness

Good Essays
1. Some critics believe that in Heart of Darkness Conrad illustrates how ‘’the darkness of the landscape can lead to the darkness of the social corruption.” This statement means that if the environment is dark, then the people in that environment will match the surrounding feeling, which is dark and depressing. For example, if it is a gloomy rainy day, most people feel tired and not as happy. If it is a bright sunny day, the most people feel motivated to get things done and joyful. Yes, this statement is believable because I have noticed that the weather, my surroundings, and even other people’s behaviors around me affect my mood. Today, for instance, it rained all day and the sky was dark, as a result I slept throughout the whole day. So my environment changed my mood negatively. – “It made you feel very small, very lost, and yet it was not altogether depressing, that feeling.” When riding along the river.
2. Heart of Darkness seems to blur the line between the so-called “advanced” society of Europe and the “primitive” society of Africa. The native people of Africa are referred to as savages. The white people in the novel showed they had uncivilized characteristics like the natives. Since the white people felt superior, however, they treated the natives like slaves and objects. Europe seems to be more civilized in the eyes of the world because the people are more advanced in technology and knowledge, while Africa seems to be more uncivilized because the people are cannibals and not as advanced in technology, if at all. I believe these distinctions are valid, but I do not agree with the white society feeling superior to the natives. I also believe that the culture I live in is advanced and civilized because there have been so many advancements in science, technology, and weaponry, and we follow the guidelines of “all

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 260 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, the geographical surrounding shape the psychological and moral traits in Kurtz, one of the characters of the novel. Especially because it shows the savagery, and lawless environment of the uncivilized lands, which allows Kurtz to almost forget all the European ways, and it also illuminates the work as a whole by bringing the question of what would happen to us if we were to be taken from a civilized world to an uncivilized world.…

    • 260 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In the book Heart of Darkness there are several aspects to imperialism. As Marlow travels from the Outer Station to the Central Station and finally up the river to the Inner Station, he encounters scenes of torture, cruelty, and near-slavery. At the very least, the incidental scenery of the book offers a harsh picture of colonial enterprise. The impetus behind Marlow's adventures, too, has to do with the hypocrisy inherent in the rhetoric used to justify imperialism. The men who work for the Company describe what they do as "trade," and their treatment of native Africans is part of a benevolent project of "civilization." Kurtz, on the other hand, is open about the fact that he does not trade but rather takes ivory by force, and he describes his own treatment of the natives with the words "suppression" and "extermination": he does not hide the fact that he rules through violence and intimidation. His perverse honesty leads to his downfall, as his success threatens to expose the evil practices behind European activity in Africa. However, for Marlow as much as for Kurtz or for the Company, Africans in this book are mostly objects: Marlow refers to his helmsman as a piece of machinery, and Kurtz's African mistress is at best a piece of statuary. It can be argued that Heart of Darkness participates in an oppression of nonwhites that is much more sinister and much harder to remedy than the open abuses of Kurtz or the Company's men."Everything belonged…

    • 681 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Joseph Conrad's "The Heart Of Darkness", the main idea is that even the most civilized person has an evil side. When a man that appears to be civilized enters a jungle, he does things that he normally would not do. Every human beings has a dark side, and are able to do the most bizarre acts. this essay will examine How once a civilized man is taken out of the constraints of his society and allowed to follow his dreams, some of those desires can be pretty evil.…

    • 687 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Neil Bissoondath’s “I’m Not Racist But…” the narrator intends to bring awareness to his readers on the connection between stereotyping and racism and condemns such acts against one another, while in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness, the protagonist informs his audience on the consequences of African colonization. Bissoondath’s work is oriented to educate the reader in the different types of racial acts leading to hatred, abuse or enforcement of power toward any given group of people. He condemns their use whether ignorantly or intentionally. Conrad’s work however, informs the reader of how the goals of the European settlers in Africa, such as ….., led them to exploit the Africans and their raw materials for the purpose of earning profits.…

    • 830 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Darkness, in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, functions as a dynamic extension of Marlow’s altering values. Prevailing at its attempts in conveying the various phases of Marlow’s changing mindset, darkness provides a breeding ground for contention—mainly, the questioning of its inherent meaning as the plot and text unfold to form a myriad of clashing ideologies. Despite what many consider to represent solely the depths of human indecency, darkness pushes the bounds of that conclusion and takes on the many forms of greed, despondency, primitivism, and eternal damnation as Marlow’s feelings begin to conflict with standard European ideology. Marlow, perhaps the most complex character, finds himself in the middle of this debate with the eventual…

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is regarded as one of the most superlative novels of English literature written in the twentieth century. However, the ideas and notions presented by Conrad in this story has generated quite a bit of controversy among academic scholars and literature experts who believe the novel creates a sense of racial animosity towards the African continent and its people. With further analyzation it can be inferred that this novel does indeed show signs of racial enmity and presents a rather deplorable situation in which one must evaluate if Conrad himself is a racist. Some would argue that his novel was…

    • 997 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages

    As the ship sits at anchor on the Thames, Marlow is reminded of the past. The Thames is a "waterway . . . to the utmost ends of the earth"; the river represents the "spirit of the past." Why has the Thames been 'one of the dark places"? What is the significance of the reference to the invasions of the Romans?…

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In “Heart of Darkness” Conrad introduces his protagonist Marlow, his journey through the African Congo and the “enlightenment” of his soul. With the skilled use of symbols and Marlow’s experience he depicts the European colonialism in Africa, practice Conrad witnessed himself. Through Marlow’s observations he explicates the naiveness of the Europeans and the hypocritical purpose of their travelling into the “dark” continent.…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 1020 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad is a fictional novel with an overflow of symbolism. Throughout the entire novel Conrad uses a plethora of simple colors, objects, and places in order to clarify very complex meanings. By doing this, Conrad is able to lure the reader into a world unlike his or her own: the Congo River, located in central Africa. Although the interpretation of these symbols is so elaborate, the simplicity of each makes it somewhat easy to overlook. A few examples of the many symbols found in Conrad's novel include the jungle, as well as the colors of white and black, better known as the colors of life and death.…

    • 1020 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Trying to carry on in an unfamiliar society for a long duration of time can lead to madness and chaos. Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now share many parallels and similar ideas to demonstrate that humans can become monstrous beings upon entering an environment that is alien to them. While the stories are not symmetrical, both highlight the importance of setting, focus on character development, and contrast lightness and darkness to illustrate symbolism.…

    • 850 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 926 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The main theme of the novel Heart of Darkness is the darkness of the human nature and its destructive influence on human beings. This research paper aims to analyze the character and personal downfall of Kurtz and use him as an example for the darkness of the human nature. It will show how easily a man can experience bad fate; Kurtz was an ambitious man full of hope who came to Africa in search for wealth and fortune and ended up going insane and dying.…

    • 926 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad and “Apocalypse Now”, a movie directed by Francis Coppola represent two outstanding examples that compare relevant ideas regarding racism, colonialism, and prejudices. The two combine film along with descriptive language to portray their mastery during different eras. For Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses his writing techniques to illustrate Marlow in the Congo, while in “Apocalypse Now”, Coppola uses film editing and close ups on important scenes with unique sounds to identify Willards’ quest for Kurtz. Both portray the idea of colonization in foreign lands that otherwise may have been uninhabited by their own people if left alone.…

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Heart of Darkness

    • 517 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Heart of Darkness is a novel of indescribable horrors and actions that lie outside the human mind. It describes a mans (Marlow) voyage on a west African river to find an a man named Kurtz. The actual journey truly is towards the "heart of darkness", where it takes Marlow by evidence of European indignity towards the natives. He wants to see this land for himself, he does not quite believe in himself of what is really there. This story hints at horrors that Marlow is incapable of describing, which leaves the reader to imagine actions that are outside of normal everyday life. The voyage that Marlow has taken has been long and exhausting. It's an adventure for him. He has experienced a great deal of confrontation with the natives, jungle dangers and savagery. There is no interest of the humans who live here and they are extremely mistreated. To them this is normal human behavior. Nothing has been done differently. Nowhere did we stop long enough to get a particular impression, but there was general sense of wonder. "It was like a weary pilgrimage amongst hints for nightmares". This describes Marlow's voyage to the "heart of darkness", the literal heart of darkness: Africa. He was fully warned and well-aware of the evil he would encounter, however he chose to ignore that in effort to satisfy his curiosity. The author is also saying something about human nature. Human curiosity about an unknown place can make him cross the line of civilized human behavior and enter a world of nightmares. Marlow wanted to see it for himself, but what made it most fascinating was this land was something he had never experienced before. He knew he would be a "weary pilgrimage amongst hints for nightmares" but he wanted to prove something to himself that could remain doubtable if not seen. There is a persistence of the human instinct that pushes people to try to find the unknown and calm their deepest desires and questions. To actually see and experience the unknown are the only true ways…

    • 517 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 2406 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Heart of Darkness contains two layers of narration. The outer narrator is a passenger on the pleasure ship The Nellie, who hears Marlow recount one of his "inconclusive experiences" (21) as a riverboat captain in Africa. This unnamed narrator speaks for not only himself, but also the four other men who listen to Marlow's story. He breaks into Marlow's narrative infrequently; mainly to remark on the audience's reaction to what Marlow is saying. He is omniscient only with respect to himself, since he cannot tell what the others on the boat are thinking. The inner, and main narrator of Heart of Darkness is Marlow. He tells the other passengers of his story "into the heart of darkness" (62) in the first person singular, and the only thoughts the reader has access to are Marlow's.…

    • 2406 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Greed exists at the centre of evil on not only an individual level, but also that of a communal and global level. Contextually there is a superficial alteration in the stimulus (Ivory vs. diamond) for greed and of global awareness towards the issue, although in the century that separates Joseph Conrad’s exploration of colonial regime in his novella Heart of Darkness and Edward Zwick’s post-colonial film Blood Diamond, the values driving the major characters and factions from the different texts are comparably similar.…

    • 1192 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays

Related Topics