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Paper Topic:

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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An Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is emotionally complex , sometimes so ambiguous . Its effect is hypnotic , the story unrevealing in a succession of searing images and dream-like ideas . During a cruise along the river Thames with fellows with whom Marlow shared a bond of the sea , as Charlie Marlow recounts one of his inconclusive ordeal ' It pertains to a journey up the great river into the heart of the central Africa to

meet his fate in the person of the chief of the inner station , Kurtz the most successful of the company 's ivory traders , who might just also be mad . Marlow 's observation about Kurtz : The pulsating stream of light , or the deceitful flow from the heart of an impenetrable darkness (p 48

Kurtz is being portrayed in a double focus nobility and genius of personality and purpose find themselves in easy partnership with insanity and monstrosity : His intelligence was perfectly clear concentrated and it is true upon himself with horrible intensity , yet clear . But his soul was made (p 67-68 . He is granted flattery as a universal genius (p 28

Kurtz has a reputation for an unbounded power of eloquence (p 51 To Marlow , preceding to seeing him , The man posed himself as a voice (p 48 . His fiancye comments about his rhetoric skill who was not his friend who had heard him speak once ' Thus , Kurtz is being portrayed as ' a remarkable man ' and is kept alive in the reader 's mind through reiteration (p 62 , 76 . Fittingly , Kurtz 's listener 's become corpselike , they cannot muster words for debate with him . [Hoffman 73]

The hostile disagreement of Marlow 's identity with Kurtz is a representation of the inner conflict between two selves of Marlow , the self 's downward journey into its own unconsciousness : We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness (p 35

Every white human is adorning a dark stain . Marlow cites this blemish as the heart of darkness . Greed is the prime motivator that dictates the deeds of Kurtz . Joseph Conrad through his main character Marlow in his novel The Heart of Darkness ' makes to learn about others and the cosmopolitan as he travels down the Congo River . In his ordeal , he learns more about himself than anyone . Marlow performs three journeys thereby visiting first , central and deep inner station and during these journeys , he learns more about himself than anything else . He meets Kurtz , an idealist who has perverted principle whom Marlow has been sent to save

While analyzing whether Marlow and Kurtz mirror images of each other or are they polar opposites , one can understand that according to Marlow Kurtz is an honest soul as his ideal is not to utter a lie . Marlow is also an idealist and for this sole reason , he identifies himself with Kurtz . At last , Marlow too identifies himself as falling short of his own ideal . Only at the concluding section , readers were given the idea who is the real hero of the ideal . Marlow , through his journey , is able to keep apart his ideal which is separated from himself . By doing this Marlow is able to keep his ideal active and alive . Both Marlow 's and Kurtz 's ideal are more or less good . It is to be noted that issue is not with the ideal itself but with the man himself . [Hoffman 74]

It is the Ivory trade in the Congo which fascinated Marlow to venture into Africa . He immediately realized that it is footed on malevolence and by the manipulations and destructions of the natives . This , again assists him to visualize how deep into this darken which Kurtz really belongs . Marlow , thus , sees darkness in Kurtz .Even , Kurtz visualizes about this and even attempts to forewarn Marlow of this evil before he dies . Perhaps , the most significant quote in this novel is Kurtz last words The horror ! The horror (p394 . Here , he is mentioning to the darkness what Marlow has come to witness , throughout his experience , in the heart of man

The stories contained in Heart of Darkness provide us with Conrad 's vision of the emerging 20th century as apartheid still exist and will continue to prevail as long as white dominance prevails over the black Further , Kurtz pamphlet reads as follows : suppression of the savage customs . [p 71] . These words remind that the African ideals or traditions are being archaic and inhuman . Thus , Kurtz pamphlet symbolizes that African traditions or customs as being napve and inhuman and how Europeans attempted to chuck out African traditions and to introduce their own ideals . Further , oppression of blacks is still continuing even in the 20th century from the days of Kurtz and Marlow and it is evident that Africa is still a dark continent as racism is still exists and these African countries are still considered to be untouchables in the international trade arena as they find it difficult to compete with strong Western economic powers even today

Cornard is relating to darkness that lies deep in the soul . Marlow , thus travels into one heart of darkness i .e . Africa only to find out another -the one inside everyone 's heart

Overall , Heart of Darkness offers a paradoxical reading of black and whites . Conrad employs the darkness of the black people skin in contrast to the white people 's skin . Darkness is employed to symbolize savages barbarism and evil white is being symbolized for excellence . Further black people are seldom portrayed as humans or given any real personalities unless they have analogous traits identical to whites They are all portrayed as dark things , mostly black and naked moving about like ants (p349 . [Hoffman 74]

Works Cited

Hoffman , Tod "Dark Heart Beating : Conrad 's Classic at 100 " Queen 's Quarterly Spring 2002 : 73

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