Heart Of Darkness Essay

1714 words - 7 pages

Post-colonial studies have often created this myth about the European intent for Africa, a tale that has led many westerners to believe in the noble role of European policy of civilizing Africa. However, literal materials have said little about the evils that surrounded the well sometimes ill-disguised motives of explorers, colonial administrators and their adventures. This essay provides an in depth review of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a classical novella that illustrates without bias the motives behind human intentions and the extremes individuals can go to achieve wealth and profits at the expense of others with the aim of shedding insight into the rise of European imperialism, the imperial history, its politics and evil activities in the colonized African tribes along the river Congo during the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
The Heart of Darkness is an exceptionally figurative classic novella established on Conrad’s own astounding experiences in central Africa during the colonial administration under King Leopold. The book narrates of the seaman Marlow’s literal journey in the jungle of the Congo River in his quest for the puzzling Mr. Kurtz, a Belgian ivory merchant whose barbaric control and influence over the indigenous people had changed him into a corrupt and revolting despot.
Conrad’s book is quite unconventional. The book is on the surface a dreamy narrative of adventures into the jungle in central Africa. However, depending on the context, the book is also a symbolic quest into man’s inner murky being. Marlow goes to Africa with the prejudiced racist ideas about the locals and an immense sense of superiority from Kurtz’s noble narratives on civilizing Africans. He is excited to meet the famous Kurtz. However, his experiences provoke abhorrence at the degrading impact of colonialism after he unveils Kurtz who had deteriorated from a civilizer to an evil, and power insatiable oppressor of the indigenous Africans. Marlow not only encounters Kurtz’s corruption but also braves the forces inside him that make him susceptible to Kurtz’s tendencies. In this book Marlow says "I've had to strike and to fend off. I've had to resist and to attack sometimes--that's only one way of resisting--without counting the exact cost, according to the demands of such sort of life as I had blundered into" (Conrad 10).
Actually, he finds out that Africa is not as uncivilized as he was made to believe. The incident on the river and the dignified woman believed to be Kurtz’s mistress makes Marlow rethink how civilized Africans are as he sees them as people who have some inner wisdom that is incomprehensible to the white man (Conrad 23). He also discovers the ravage done on the continent. Marlow goes back to Belgium after Kurtz’s demise where he faces Kurtz’s fiancée and is forced to lie about Kurtz’s undertakings and his last words.
The close of the nineteenth century came with one of the most conspicuous forms of imperialism ever experienced...

Find Another Essay On Heart of Darkness

Another Heart of Darkness Essay

907 words - 4 pages Ignorance and Racism Joseph Conrad develops themes of personal power, individual responsibility, and social justice in his book Heart of Darkness. His book has all the trappings of the conventional adventure tale - mystery, exotic setting, escape, suspense, unexpected attack. Chinua Achebe concluded, "Conrad, on the other hand, is undoubtedly one of the great stylists of modern fiction and a good story-teller into the bargain" (Achebe

heart of darkness Essay

1849 words - 7 pages Various parallels can be drawn when comparing and contrasting Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Frank Coppola's "Apocalypse Now", while taking into consideration Heart of Darkness is a novella and "Apocalypse Now" is a film. These differences and similarities can be seen in themes, characters, events and other small snippets of information including anything from quoted lines to strange actions of the main characters

Heart Of Darkness

865 words - 3 pages recognize while in other titles, the significance is only developed gradually. The latter is the case for Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness. The author implements the literary devices of contrast, repetition and point of view to successfully convey the meaning and symbolism of his title.      At first read through the short book, one may perceive the “heart of darkness” to simply be the wilderness in the center of Africa into

Heart of Darkness Analysis

935 words - 4 pages Civilization is not as advanced as first assumed. Joseph Conrad asserts this disheartening message in his novel, Heart of Darkness. The novel follows a European man reliving his journey to the Congo through story telling to his shipmates. Through Marlow’s journey, Conrad reveals the stark contrasts between European civilization and African savagery. Heart of Darkness explores the struggles of different societies with an intention to expose the

Heart of Darkness

1219 words - 5 pages In the nineteenth century, a drastic change known as the Scramble for Africa occurred. Leading the race of the new imperialism was the never setting sun that was the British Empire; as it looted, killed, and destroyed Africa, the greatest empire in the world gave little consideration to the native inhabitants of the land. Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad, is an exciting account of an arduous expedition into the darkest part of

Heart of Darkness Intro

1385 words - 6 pages HOD Intros Babienko AP English #1 - Intro and Conclusion:In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the balance of man's savage nature and the suppression of his natural desires by "civilization" is explored. Conrad asks "what is civilization?" and uses Kurtz's experiences to define it as a façade of society designed to repress man's natural desires. This conclusion helps to bring to light the pitfalls of colonialism, the necessity of

Heart of Darkness Essay

799 words - 3 pages When considering a work of literature, the title can be just as important as the context of the story. Literary devices such as contrast and repetition help develop the symbolism of Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness. The use of contrast can be seen within the differences between the black and white people along with the differences between the civilized and uncivilized. The phrase "Heart of Darkness" itself is

Heart of Darkness

809 words - 4 pages Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness is about Marlow’s journey up the Congo River; he’s the steamships captain and his duty is to get ivory. During his journey, he will obsess with Mr. Kurtz, a reputable man who everyone looks up to, but mostly with the natives .While traveling through Africa, he will encounter many natives or as he prefers to describe them “savages”. Joseph Conrad is a polish author and is considered a great writer

Heart of Darkness

1301 words - 6 pages Heart of Darkness. That title rings with agony, loneliness, and the sense of evil. The words produce an image of a black heart entangled with unbreakable vines. To have a heart that is figuratively black and bounded to the ties of evil is a bitter and deathly symbol. Who could possibly have that heart? Joseph Conrad, for example, was a man with a heart of darkness. His life reeked with self deception and inner conflicts. Conrad’s book, Heart of

Heart of darkness 3

881 words - 4 pages Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness focusses on a journey of self-discovery and the effects of colonialism and imperialism. The struggle that Marlow and Kurtz experience in coming to terms with their world enables them to learn and discover a lot about themselves and others. Conrad exhibits the potential for a physical and psychological journey up the Congo to induce character discoveries into themselves, the natives

Heart Of Darkness

1190 words - 5 pages Heart of Darkness By: Joseph Conrad The novel Heart of Darkness, was written by a man named Joseph Conrad in 1894. Conrad was born December 3, 1857 into a family of polish decent in the northern Ukraine. The backgrounds of his family members consisted of a father that was an avid translator of Shakespeare as well as poet, along with a mother, that while was prone to illness still was well read and very intelligent. When Conrad was five, his

Similar Essays

"Heart Of Darkness": The Darkness Essay

1381 words - 6 pages Images of Darkness, in the novel "Heart of Darkness" represent the savagery that takes over one's soul; it can be delayed but never stopped, and no one is safe from it. This is shown through many characters and images in this novel. Kurtz, the Accountant, and the Pilgrims are all symbols that show how the darkness has turned them into savages. Marlow, the harlequin, and the idea of work all show that the darkness can be delayed from getting your

Heart Of Darkness Essay

988 words - 4 pages The Real Heart Of Darkness Heart of Darkness is not only the title of Joseph Conrad’s novella, it is also a main theme. This is portrayed through different images of darkness, black and evil throughout his story. The setting is often used with images of darkness; even as Marlow tells his tale, it is night. This ‘darkness’ is inside many concepts of the novella such as Africa, women, black people, maps, the ivory trade corporation and Kurtz

The Heart Of Darkness Essay

896 words - 4 pages Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness portrays the soul of man as evil, to him the heart is a dark place filled with malcontent. The heart of man is not naturally evil; man is sick, and sick people do bad things. The appearance of man in an outward form suggests evil intent; however, this is just the byproduct of a spiritual war that is being waged for man’s soul. Just as when a man is sick and he lashes out from pain; humanity is doing the same

Heart Of Darkness Essay

815 words - 3 pages Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is a dark tale concerning the scientific revolution of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Heart of Darkness takes place along the Congo River, which runs through Africa. During Conrad's time imperialistic powers of outside nations were trying to divvy up Africa. Conrad used his ideals about modern beliefs to create his extravagate novel Heart of Darkness. Heart of Darkness is a dark