Response Paper on the Heart of Darkness

Topics: Mind, Heart of Darkness, Soul Pages: 1 (347 words) Published: December 5, 2006

I want to do my short paper on The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and compare this story with the spirit of industrialization. I was going to support this idea based on nature of the soul and relate that to Kurtz by showing that nature of the soul is that involving irrational and rational components , irrational being needs and, instincts or wants but can be controlled by reason. The other part is rational, or cognitive, to think or remember. In the story Kurtz and even Marlow are compelled by the irrational and rational components in the nature of the soul thus relating to the spirit of industrialization in which there was a strive for new knowledge, to think of new ways to do things and make them easier but also in an irrational way in that a lot of the companies at the time showed that their wants came before anything else. For instance people would work 12 hour days and this would include children and would not have a required break or even restrooms, it was all a matter of producing the most stuff at the smallest price no matter the consequences. In the Heart of Darkness Kurtz tried to collect the most ivory he could even if it meant taking it from others. I think that Conrad tries to show this greed in representing Kurtz as this man who started out good and was driven mad by the irrational impulses in his mind that drove him to be the what he was during the story, in a way Conrad shows us if we continue in a direction that Kurtz is going in comparison to the industrialization period which before the reforms was a terrible place to live in; we will all end up like him and that stresses the need for change for the better in which I think that Kurtz finally realizes when his rational impulse kicks in and he shouts "The Horror!, The Horror!" (Conrad).

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Penguin, 1999.
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