A Comparison of Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent Essay

3008 Words13 Pages
A Comparison of Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent

This essay consists of two separate parts but the intention is that both these parts will prove to be relevant from the point of view of what this essay sets out to study. The first part will present Joseph Conrad's life and some of his works and the latter part will consist of a comparison of two of Conrad's works, Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent. In this essay I will begin from two assumptions, namely, that both the works mentioned above include clearly identifiable similarities in their narration, theme and method, and, that Conrad's own experiences and views have had great effect on both works.

The method of this essay is firstly to discuss Conrad's
…show more content…
Joseph Conrad was born on December 3, 1857 near Berdichev, in the Russian-ruled Poland. He was Christened Jozef Teodor Korzeniovski but changed his name later because he "could not bear to hear people mispronouncing his name all the time". He was the first and only son of Apollo and Evelina Nalecz Korzeniowski. His father was an aristocrat, a land-owner who had two great passions which Joseph inherited: a love for his country and a love for writing letters ( Warner, 1950: 8).

Apollo's involvement with the Polish National Committee, which fought for the independence of Poland, lead to his arrest in October 21, 1861 and finally into exile in Vologda, in northern Russia where Conrad and his mother followed in 1862. Evelina died in exile in 1865 in the age of thirty-two.

Apollo was becoming progressively ill and in December 1867 he was permitted to return to Poland. In the meantime the young Conrad had been living with his maternal uncle, Tadeusz Bobrovski, since 1866 at Nowofastow in the Polish Ukraine. Finally Conrad rejoined his father and they settled in Cracow in 1869. After Apollo finally died in May 23, 1869, Conrad continued his studies at the University of Cracow under a tutor, to whom he was much attached to, and to whom he confided his wish: a determination to go to the sea.

Conrad's guardian was against Conrad's decision to go to the sea but finally Conrad did what he wanted and set out for the sea in the autumn
Get Access