Heart of Darkness Thematic Questions

Better Essays
1: In Heart of Darkness, Marlow is telling a long story to his fellow shipmates so to avoid confusion, Conrad only names the important characters. Each named character is important to the novella and those without a name have no real significance to the plot. Marlow is the protagonist of the novella and the first person narrator so his importance is what the novella is based off of. Kurtz was the major reason Marlow traveled into the Congo and when Marlow finally meets Kurtz, Marlow’s views on the world and life are changed. Fresleven the Dane does not play as big of a role in the story as Marlow and Kurtz but what he stands for is important. Conrad used Fresleven as a vector of foreshadow by demonstrating the effect the Congo had on him and how it Marlow could be similarly effected. Also, by giving him the title of Dane, Conrad points out that Fresleven was not as important as Marlow and Kurtz. By having the unimportant characters in the novella be described by their job title, Conrad makes an interesting point; the only reason the nameless characters are in the novella is because their job influences the characters with names. Conrad wants to make the point that your job should not consume your life and should not define you.

2: Marlow’s connection between early London and Africa is a direct correlation to the conquering done by the Romans and the conquering being conducted by Marlow’s crew. In both situations, a superior force in both military strength and power conquer a “savage people” in an untamed land. Conrad begins the novella with this connection to make the reader realized that Marlow knows that what was done was unjust. Also, Marlow makes this point in a boat on the Thames, which drives home his point to his crewmates because the connection lies before their eyes.

4: Marlow does not agree with his aunt’s belief and actually says “she made me quite uncomfortable.” Marlow sees this as an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream and

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Often, an author of a work of literature will raise questions in one’s mind, but will not answer it to ensure contemplation of the idea presented before the reader. In his novel, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad utilizes characterization, narration, and heavy imagery to effectively raise questions in the reader’s mind as the book continues in its tedious, yet poetic journey on the Congo. Conrad uses a lot of action to describe his characters because there isn’t much physical description or…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The heart of darkness

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The heart of darkness The Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe has claimed that Heart of Darkness is an “offensive and deplorable book” that “set[s] Africa up as a foil to Europe, as a place of negations at once remote and vaguely familiar, in comparison with which Europe’s own state of spiritual grace will be manifest.” Achebe says that Conrad does not provide enough of an outside frame of reference to enable the novel to be read as ironic or critical of imperialism. Based on the evidence in the text…

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages

    STUDY GUIDE Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Each detail to which your attention is drawn by the Study Guide is part of the puzzle of Heart of Darkness. It is important to notice the details, to ponder them, to see how patterns repeat themselves, and to see how the pieces fit together. Marlow's journey and your reading about the journey require constant alertness, discipline, patience, and a willingness to look for what is not immediately apparent. Section 1 A. The Thames Setting 1. Notice…

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 596 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Heart of Darkness Irony of situation plays a major role in the shaping of events in the novel Heart of Darkness. For instance Joseph Conrad does not use light as a symbol for bringing knowledge and truth to a situation; rather he uses light as an indication of a hidden truth. These occurrences include “There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances. (Conrad 30)” This shows the feelings that Marlow is having…

    • 596 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Heart of darkness

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages

    we still study Heart of Darkness? Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad in 1899. It is still studied today as it is considered an exemplary moral text. It explores complex moral issues which are challenging for contemporary youths and demonstrates the effect that isolation can have on a person. Also, it reveals the nature of colonialism in Africa in the late nineteenth century making it significant from a historical and political perspective. Heart of Darkness is studied for…

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Heart of Darkness Journal #1 Heart of Darkness had brought up numerous amount of discussions to the reader 's attention. The historical content of the novel released the questioning of the motives that fueled European imperialism and how Joseph Conrad characterized it within his writing. Conrad presented a basically naturalistic worldview in Heart of Darkness, but he did not answer all the questions through his novel, with reading the novel readers begin to question human life and the nature…

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Heart Of Darkness

    • 1636 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Written IOC – Heart of Darkness Extract "Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the water-way ran on, deserted, into the gloom of over-shadowed distances. On silvery sand-banks hippos and alligators sunned themselves…

    • 1636 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    heart of darkness

    • 1580 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Duţă Professor Dr. Carmen-Adina Ciugureanu/ Lecturer Dr. Florian Andrei Vlad Romanian-English, Second Year 13 May 2014 Notes on the title of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness It makes good sense to suggest that a title is conventionally chosen to represent the main idea of a novella, to correlate with a theme or motif. Heart of Darkness is no exception. Published in 1902, the novella illustrates the mentality and the culture of the white people at that time. They were confident in themselves and…

    • 1580 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages

    he must distinguish which parts of the text are coherent in his adaptation of the novella and the audience’s reaction to it. Coppola chose to retain the main themes of Heart of Darkness. The criticizing and mocking of imperialism was a prevalent theme that surfaced throughout Apocalypse Now. For instance in Heart of darkness, Marlow exemplifies the basis of imperialism. "The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter…

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Heart of Darkness

    • 27344 Words
    • 110 Pages

    This PDF is brought to you in association with . . . Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad ©2002, 2007 by SparkNotes All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. sparknotes is a registered trademark of SparkNotes llc SparkNotes A Division of Barnes & Noble 76 Ninth Avenue New York, NY…

    • 27344 Words
    • 110 Pages
    Better Essays