Kareem Mansour IB1 HL English Mr. Key Blindness and Lack of Morality Joseph Conrad’s s novel “Heart of Darkness” portrays an abominable image of Africa that is outlined with darkness, gloominess and inhumanity. At Conrad’s time, the idea of exploration and colonization was flourishing. The phenomenon of exploration and expedition of the unknown has influenced Joseph Conrad’s views as he wrote the “Heart of Darkness”. Colonialism was known to be the norm, and not many people saw anything amiss. From a European point of view, the natural next step of any powerful European nation’s political agenda is embarking on voyages of exploration and colonialism.
Throughout Heart of Darkness, the Lord of the Flies, Hollow Men, and Demian, there seemed to be a pattern of showing morality and the battle between good versus evil in each person. In the Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad transcends the deep, dark African jungle in order to illuminate the true nature of humanity’s heart, filled with the darkness of obsession, corruption, and evil. The story itself follows the protagonist, Marlow, as well as Kurtz, a secretive, mysterious man who resides in the heart of Congo and furthermore represents humanity itself and its evils. Through the savagery seen through the setting with its inhabitants and the primal darkness each human heart contains, Conrad draws a cruel world, possessing horror. As Marlow travels through Africa, the place European strived to
Considered “among the half-dozen greatest short novels in the English language” by some scholars, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has been scrutinized and praised by many scholars around the world. However, beneath this glory and praise lies a certain darkness, hidden from many Western scholars by the walls of ignorance. Among those who saw through those walls was revered Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. In his essay “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,” Achebe acutely identifies subtle patterns, word choices, and styles Conrad uses that help us presume Conrad’s attitude towards Africa and Africans, while refuting potential counterarguments. Achebe’s first issue with Heart of Darkness is the oversimplification and the barbaric delineation of Africa and the native people.
‘Heart of Darkness’ was written in 1899 by a Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, about the expedition up the Congo River in the Heart of Africa. This essay will mainly deal with the reference of the ‘darkness’ in the novel and it even deals with the theme which will further support the statement. The idea of ‘darkness’ in ‘Heart of Darkness’ represents evil or dark side of Humanity. It is also related to the idea of colonization, especially when it comes to the idea of mistreatments of people and misuse of natural resources. Throughout the novel, we see Conrad gives us idea about how deceiving one could be.
Heart of Darkness tells a story about Marlow, a young captain. He reserves a commission to research Kurtz who is an ivory trader and works for a Belgian trading company and loses in the Congo jungles. Apocalypse Now 's background is Vietnam War. An American captain Willard gets a mission to find and kill Kurtz who is an unsound US Special Forces colonel. Although these two stories ' scenes are different and the protagonists have different occupations, they all trip up the rivers on travelling on the rivers, the Congo River and the Nung River, to unfold the quest to attain a vision of their self-nature.
The novella Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad in the late 19th century, examines the cultural divergence between Europe and Africa. In the text, Charlie Marlow, the narrator, recounts his journey to Congo and provides insight into the gender roles within European and African society. It is important to consider the period in which this novella was written, because at the time, Europe had a very male dominant society. This is evident in Heart of Darkness, as almost all of the characters are male, including Marlow and Conrad himself. Due to the preeminence of men in the novella, women are depicted solely from a male perspective.
Joseph Conrad 's most read novella Heart of Darkness has double meaning in its title. One dictionary meaning is that the title refers to the interior of the Africa called Congo. Another hidden meaning is, the title stands for the darkness or the primitiveness that every person possesses in his or her mind and heart. The etymological meaning of the phrase Heart of Darkness is the innermost region of the territory which is yet to be explored, where people led the nomadic and primitive way of living. The setting time of the novel Heart of Darkness dates back to those periods when the continent of Africa was not fully explored.
In Heart of Darkness, the use of irony deepens the effect of melancholy and sadness which is found in the fundamental atmosphere of the story. Irony improves the sorrow which we, experience when we read about the unexpected transformation which comes over Kurtz. Similarly we feel a deep regret at the moral deterioration which unexpectedly takes place in Marlow and when he forgoes his moral compass and lies to Kurtz’s fiancée when we have the knowledge of his deep hatred of liars and
Heart of Darkness investigates the concerns regarding imperialism in using a complex method. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, The Hollow Men, by T.S. Eliot, and The White Man’s Burden, by Rudyard Kipling all hold a similar message. Both Conrad and Eliot express to the audience that the theory of imperialism is pure, however the reality is immoral. While Conrad’s story provides a powerful disapproval of the deceitful functions of imperialism, it also presents a set of concerns surrounding ethnicity that is ultimately disturbing.
Conrad’s novella is from a white man’s point of view who travels to the Congo. On the other hand, Achebe’s story is based on an African’s point of view which he intentionally wrote to combat this negative image of Africans. While Achebe’s character’s can speak for its culture, lifestyle and traditions, Conrad’s character can only speak about what he sees and they stereotypical portrayal of Africans. According to Hunt Hawkins, “Achebe observes that Africans are barely present in Heart Of Darkness… It might be said that Conrad failed to portray Africans because he knew little of their culture, having spent less than six months in the Congo, mostly in the company of white men, and without knowledge of any African language.” Since this story is told by Marlow in the Congo, it focuses on a foreigner’s portrayal of Africans during the nineteenth century. Imagine going to a foreign place and being completely lost towards its culture and people.