Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is dramatic tale of an arduous trek into the darkest

800 WordsApr 23, 20194 Pages
Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad is dramatic tale of an arduous trek into the darkest part of Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. The story follows the protagonist Marlow, an English marine merchant, as he travels through the African jungle up the Congo river in search for a mysterious man named Kurtz. Through Marlow's narration, Conrad provides a searing indictment of European colonial exploitation inflicted upon African natives. Through his use of irony, characters, and symbolism in the novel, Conrad aims to unveil the underlying horrors of colonialism. By shedding light on the brutality of colonialism in Heart of Darkness, Conrad shows that European values have been irrevocably eclipsed by darkness. The true…show more content…
Another great irony in the novel is the attitude Marlow ultimately adopts towards Kurtz. Marlow's beginning impressions from the various reports he has heard about Kurtz are very adverse. Yet, after the events have taken place, Marlow becomes an admirer of Kurtz harboring strong feelings of respect and friendship. The reader would expect Marlow to continue to react to Kurtz in the same adverse manner as the start of the novel, but the opposite occurs. Marlow becomes so attached to Kurtz that he uses all his powers of persuasion to bring Kurtz back to the ship. Marlow then tells the reader that he could “not betray Mr. Kurtz—it was ordered I should never betray him—it was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice” (94). Thus Marlow has now become almost a follower of Kurtz knowing the full extent of the evil that prevails in Kurtz. Evidently, Marlow's own primitive instinct have come to the surface resulting in a bond between Kurtz and himself. So another civilized European man who is an embodiment of reason and sanity has fallen victim to the influences of savagery. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad only gives a few characters name in the novella illustrating the dehumanization of mankind in the Congo. With the exception of Marlow and Kurtz, all the European characters posses titles reflecting their careers as their given names; this defines their entire personality and existence to their chosen occupation. This is a reflection on the European

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