Heart of Darkness is a story that is split up in three parts and is narrated by the protagonist Charles Marlow. Marlow tells his story to five men that were all on the boat, journeying up the Congo River into the heart of Africa. As Marlow is telling his story during their excursion, the men and the reader observe that he is an ivory trader and he works with Kurtz, however during the story the reader can notice the racism. However, this created the suspense to the readers because Joseph Conrad showed the “darkness” that was displayed between London and Africa. Also, throughout this story the reader can experience many moods and emotions such as good and evil, fear, and power. The mood is dark, gloomy, and very evil. Throughout, the novel the
Look at the description of the oil painting by Kurtz of the blindfolded woman. Remember this image; it will have important connections at other points in the novel. What impression does the painting give of the character of Kurtz the painter? of the woman?
The viewpoint of the world that the narrator has, completely alters as certain events take place throughout the story. His outlook on nature transforms into a wholly different standpoint as the story progresses. As his tale begins, the narrator sees himself as a tough guy or "bad character". He believes he is invincible. There is nobody as cool as he is or as dangerous as him and his friends are. With his
At the end of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Marlow has has finally returned to Brussels from the Congo, and his interactions with the Intended lead to revelations surrounding the true intentions of Kurtz’s actions. As opposed to Part I, where Kurtz’s words place a veil over Marlow and cause him to seem conflicted in his judgement, Marlow now realizes what he has implicitly contributed to by enabling Kurtz. Marlow initially withdraws judgement and condones Kurtz’s actions due to the persuasive nature of his words; however, this ambivalence eventually transforms to horror as he realizes the grave repercussions of Kurtz’s brutal dominance.
Though the narrator has the full ability to see, he lacks the ability to connect to the world and to the people around him. He is described as an egotistical, superficial being who is very shallow in the way he views the people and events in his life. The man,
In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is depicted as an upstanding European who has been transformed by his time in the jungle- being away from the society he was used to that could have prevented him from becoming such a tyrant. I have experienced being in a situation where I was very different from the people around me. It forced me to figure out their interests so I was able to join in on their conversations. By the end of the day, I no longer felt alone. So that experience taught me that I am going to come across diversity in life, but I need to be open and accepting of it. If I had chosen to just be shy, I wouldn’t have learned this lesson. I didn’t find myself being pulled toward base, cruel instincts as Kurtz, but I think that’s because Kurtz had no one to control him. If a person gains that much power, it may lead to the transformation that Kurtz experienced. –pg. 144 “But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself, and, by heavens! I tell you, it had gone mad.”
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a story about a man named Marlow and his Journey into the African Congo. By reading the novel and understanding all the imagery Conrad has inserted, we can get a better understanding of the
He becomes impatient and dissatisfied with the life of a sailor, and gravitates more and more towards the life of land. His repeated memories of distant ports and the power that a ships horn still holds over him seem to vividly symbolize the doubt which still lingers over his decision.
Marlow is a reflection of the meeting of oneself within an archetype. His personal reflections of himself demonstrate what archetype he represents. He exemplifies the archetype of a traveler attempting to recognize his own inner workings (similar to the ambitions of Freud, Jung, and Conrad alike).
As a young boy, Conrad had a passionate desire to travel the sea; this desire was then conceded by his Uncle who took care of him when his parents died. When Conrad was around the age nine years old, he set in his mind that when he grew up he would go to Africa, the place where he once placed his finger upon on a blank space on a map that had an unsolved mystery. The main character, Marlow, is used in Heart of Darkness to reflect upon Conrad himself and his journey to the Congo in 1890. This novel, as well as the all of the others he has written, is filled with dark and gloomy encounters with
The Heart of Darkness is a great novel and it centers on Marlow. The novel goes into detail of Marlow’s trip to the African jungle. Marlow begins the story by sayin that the story takes place during ancient times in Britain. Marlow is a sailor and he journeys up the Congo River to meet Kurtz. Kurtz is a man of great abilities. Marlow later takes a job with a riverboat company as captain which is an ivory trading company.
Joseph Conrad uses literary elements, such as imagery, irony, and metaphor, to render a central theme in Heart of Darkness. Various examples of imagery are used within the text, for example, “I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking” (Conrad 13). This vivid description of the people in the Congo creates a powerful and lasting image in the reader’s mind. The execution of this description allows the reader to see the intense protruding ribs and the chains. The mentioning of the chains also symbolizes the dehumanization and human rights violations that occurred throughout the Congo. Another example of imagery in the text includes, “All their meager breasts panted together, the violently dilated nostrils quivered, the eyes stared stonily uphill” (Conrad 13). The hard, violent panting and the blank stares of the men reveal their zombie-like personalities and lifeless motions. The
“No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river, and he’s not the same man” -Heraclitus. This quote accurately depicts the protagonist, Charles Marlow in the novella Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness is read from the narration of Marlow, an ivory transporter who travels down the Congo. Throughout his journey, Marlow develops an intense interest in the famous ivory trader Kurtz, who is portrayed as a powerful, sage, and evil man. The story is based on Marlows experiences with the encounters he's faced with and his ability to be fickle based in these encounterments. In Heart of Darkness, we see Conrad use the river to symbolize movement throughout the novella.
The confusion in morality manifested in mentality changes can also be found through the driver of the boat seen in, "That fool-helmsman, his hands on the spokes, was lifting his knees high, stamping his feet, clamping his mouth, like a reined in horse". The use of simile and animal imagery shows Helmsman losing his mind.