Examining Themes in Heart of Darkness Essay

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Joseph Conrad wrote the book, Heart of Darkness, in 1898. He wrote this book touching on many different themes such as imperialism and commerce, darkness imagery, dream and nightmare, isolation, mental and physical illness, truth, and journey. Although all the themes are important to make Heart of Darkness complete, three prevail overall: imperialism and commerce, truth, and journey. Being the author of the book, Joseph Conrad had a personal connection to it. He took his own journey down the Congo River and like Marlow, said that as a child his dreams were to grow up and explore the heart of Africa. A family member also recommended Conrad to a company. Joseph Conrad experienced the "heart of darkness", that could be a reason why his book…show more content…
The company was corrupt, and with its power and control over the natives, operated entirely for the sole purpose of obtaining ivory. Marlow told of a time when the "civilized world" was discovering the untamed British Isles, and in comparison of how the British are now discovering the unexplored areas of the world. Thinking from the point of view of a commander, Marlow explains the feelings of trying to conquer and over power swinish land.

" In some inland post feel savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him, - all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There is no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, which goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination-you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate."

Part 1, page 31

All through Marlow's journey he encounters many accounts of torture, cruelty, and slavery mainly pertaining to the natives.

It is no accident that the narrator introduced the reader to Marlow while on a journey. The story Marlow unravels also takes place on a journey. Marlow's apparent journey takes him from his childhood, as a boy dreaming of filling empty spaces on maps, to the middle of Africa. An intimate possession to understand the secrets of the unknown pushes him down
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