He said that Kurtz’s stare at the moment of his death “could not see the flame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness” (Conrad 116). Kurtz’s lack of words resulted from the overwhelming emotions and visions he experienced during his death. People typically do not understand the wickedness of human actions until
“It is queer how out of touch with truth women are” (pg 17) said Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Throughout Heart of Darkness, Conrad employs characterization to illustrate the twisted view some individuals have of women. Conrad utilizes Marlow’s aunt, Kurtz’s intended, and the African woman to reveal this idea. First, Marlow 's aunt is used to demonstrate the prejudice toward women that exists in the world. On page 17 when recalling his conversation with his aunt, Marlow says, that women have a pretty world that they live in and, if their world was put into practice in the real world, their world would fall apart almost immediately.
Yet, in the Heart of Darkness, the hero is sent to Africa under his company, dealing in ivory trades, who is not sent in to kill Kurtz (60). Kurtz became violent but the hero does not kill Kurtz. Kurt becomes ill and dies onto Marlow’s boat (144). The difference of Kurtz death is important because in the novel the protagonist (Charles Marlow) in my opinion is not greedy for power and control. He is more of a hero who is tough but honest.
Kurtz is a European, his reason for being in Africa, and the treasure at the end of his trek. On the other hand, Kurtz represents this helmsman’s death. Due to the relationship that was blossoming between Marlow and the helmsman, his death becomes devastating. Marlow then interprets the events as being caused by Kurtz. The thought that all of these things came about simply due to his unconscious need to have a conversation with a stranger is shocking and abrasive to Marlow, but in a sudden realization, he says “(I) became aware that that was exactly what I had been looking forward to – a talk with Kurtz” (62).
When Marlow returns from the Congo he, just as Kurtz and Russian, is no longer the same man. Marlow returning to Europe to see just how ignorant the people there are, not knowing anything past their, “insignificant and silly dreams” (Conrad 70). He believing that he is no longer like them, no longer being like them since being in the Congo and seeing just what it had become at the hands of European Imperialism. Though Marlow is no different than those he is looking down upon, his ignorance coming from keeping others
The literary criticism I chose for the Heart of Darkness focuses on how is “easier to give good advice than to take it.” This criticism was written by Theodore Dalrymple, who is a doctor and provided an example of how he would prescribed his patients an act that they should do to improve their life and they would nod and say they would. At first, one believes they would take measures, but they would not. This he related to this book by demonstrating that is difficult to change individuals but it more difficult to change nations and even more cultures. Darkness (and light) is the main motif and he tells, not directly, that the characters are stuck in the darkness.
The Motives: Truths and Reality of the Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad’s novel the Heart of Darkness was “written in 1898 and 1899, and first published in 1902 is cited in the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica as Conrad’s “most famous, finest, and most enigmatic story” (Conrad, v). The story contains a combination of Conrad’s experience as a sailor in the French and British merchant marines. His experience in Africa pushed him to write the truth and reality throughout the Congo River. Conrad uses an unnamed narrator to shift perspectives between himself and Marlow, who is the central character. Conrad does this to hide his motives or to not make them directly perceptible.
Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness examines colonialism within the African Congo and the social and psychological implications of British Imperialism. Conrad implements the frame narrative to demonstrate the unnamed narrator’s change of perception of England upon hearing Marlow’s story. Additionally, there is affirmation of the ideal colonialist male within Marlow’s admiration of Kurtz. Furthermore, the male voice enforces gender hierarchy and gender roles throughout the novel. Lastly, the male voice draws attention to the hegemonic control over the natives and the European viewpoint of the native’s culture.
In Joseph Conrad’s short story “Heart of Darkness,” the reader is transported to many places throughout Europe and Africa. These places all have symbolic meaning in their appearance. They reveal much of the stories theme in their appearance and show the darkness’s affect. Many of the appearances are similar in that they all contain some darkness. The darkness hides things from observation and represents the savagery that Marlow sees.
The reader sees Kurtz’s diminishing confidence as he remarks “I am lying here in the dark waiting for death”(69). His final words “The horror! The horror!”(69) express his final recognition of humanity’s depravity and lack of self control. Marlow, also wrestling with death at the same time, recognizes the significance of Kurtz’s final judgement and remarks “If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair’s breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, published in 1899, focuses on the effects that imperialism has on the human mind. However, it has been widely criticized for its racist language and depiction of Africa. Regardless, this novel serves as a literary work of art and should not be seen solely as a racist novel. Heart of Darkness shows Marlow’s shift in perspective in respect to imperialism. Marlow has an imperialistic point of view, but he is more judgmental of it than in favor of it.
In the novel Heart of Darkness, darkness can be described as the horrors of greed. Darkness can be symbolized as multiple ideas such as an absence of morals, greed and the psychological treatment. The book is filled with darkness from the start. Europe and Africa are depicted as a place of darkness and gloominess.
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.
In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad created the feeling of ‘other’ with the way the people Marlow encountered on the journey were described. Words are what leads a reader to form an opinion and Conrad leads his reader’s into believing the natives are wicked. In the novel, Joseph often times calls the African people savages or creatures, “...deathlike indifference of unhappy savages” (20) and “...one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees...” Savages and creatures give the connotation that they were evil and animalistic. His words impact on how we think of the African characters.