Summary At the beginning of the novella Heart of Darkness Marlow, a thoughtful mariner, sets off a journey up to the Congo River to meet Kurtz, a man known for his great abilities. Marlow is offered a job as a riverboat captain by a Belgian Company to trade in the Congo. As he travels to Africa and then up the Congo, Marlow encounters prevalent disorganization and cruelty in the Company's stations. The native inhabitants of that region have been enforced in the Company's service, and they undergo a terrible overwork and ill treatment at the hands of the Company's agents.
Messenger In our series, Guide to the classicsexperts explain key works of literature. Already, inthe American poet T. Eliot thought the book was Zeitgeist-y enough to provide the epigraph for his epoch-defining poem, The Waste Land - although another American poet, Ezra Pound, talked him out of using it.
Echoes of Heart of Darkness can pop up almost anywhere: This is a more complicated kind of Conrad reference. Up the river Heart of Darkness is the story of an English seaman, Charles Marlow, who is hired by a Belgian company to captain a river steamer in the recently established Congo Free State.
Almost as soon as he arrives in the Congo, Marlow begins to hear rumours about another company employee, Kurtz, who is stationed deep in the interior of the country, hundreds of miles up the Congo River. The remains of the only sailing ship he ever commanded, the Otago, have ended up in Hobarta rusted, half-submerged shell on the banks of the Derwent.
The remains of the Otago, the ship Conrad commanded, in Hobart. John Attridge Sick with fever and disenchanted with his colleagues and superiors, he broke his contract after only six months, and returned to London in early A second novel, An Outcast of the Islands, followed, along with several stories.
The five male friends gathered on board were once sailors, but everyone except Marlow has since changed careers, as Conrad himself had done. Like sail, which was rapidly being displaced by steam-power, Marlow is introduced to us as an anachronism, still devoted to the profession his companions have left behind.
During the second half of the 19th century, spurious theories of racial superiority were used to legitimate empire-building, justifying European rule over native populations in places where they had no other obvious right to be.
|Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Summary||Webber   and would concern the four main characters at that point named as the Doctor, Cliff, Lola, and Biddy being shrunk to a "miniature size" and attacked by giant animals. The episode would have revealed that the Doctor had escaped from "his own galaxy" in the yearseeking a perfect society in the past, and that he was pursued by agents from his own time who sought to prevent him from stopping their society from coming into being.|
|Up the river||Specifically, one trip made a special impression on him:|
|Darkness at home and abroad||Table of Contents Context Joseph Conrad did not begin to learn English until he was twenty-one years old. When Conrad was quite young, his father was exiled to Siberia on suspicion of plotting against the Russian government.|
|Literary Spotlight||Zoe Ramos girlfriend; deceased Eli James Jamie Kennedy was introduced in the first episode of season four.|
|Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez||Marlow is philosophical, independent-minded, and generally skeptical of those around him. He is also a master storyteller, eloquent and able to draw his listeners into his tale.|
Marlow, however, is too cynical to accept this convenient fiction. Wikimedia The idea that Africans and Europeans have more in common than the latter might care to admit recurs later, when Marlow describes observing tribal ceremonies on the banks of the river.
Heart of Darkness suggests that Europeans are not essentially more highly-evolved or enlightened than the people whose territories they invade. To this extent, it punctures one of the myths of imperialist race theory.
But, as the critic Patrick Brantlinger has arguedit also portrays Congolese villagers as primitiveness personified, inhabitants of a land that time forgot. Along with its various other generic affiliations — imperial romance, psychological novel, impressionist tour de force — Heart of Darkness is a horror story.
Marlow fobs him off with the bombastic report, which the journalist accepts happily enough. Politically, Conrad tended to be on the right, and this image of Kurtz as an extremist demagogue expresses a habitual pessimism about mass democracy — instill a relatively recent phenomenon.
These concerns about political populism also resonate with recent democratic processes in the US and the UK, among other places. Nor does Conrad have any patience with complacent European beliefs about racial superiority. One response to this criticism is to argue, as Paul B.
Armstrong doesthat the lack of more rounded Congolese characters is the point. If Achebe did not succeed in having Heart of Darkness struck from the canon, he did ensure that academics writing about the novel could no longer ignore the question of race.
For Urmila SeshagiriHeart of Darkness shows that race is not the stable, scientific category that many Victorians thought it was. It is entirely appropriate, in more ways than one, for Hamid to allude to Conrad in a novel about global mobility. The paradox of Heart of Darkness is that it seems at once so improbable and so necessary.
It is impossible not to be astonished, when you think of it, that a Polish ex-sailor, writing in his third language, was ever in a position to author such a story, on such a subject. It is from this point of view that Heart of Darkness seems necessary, even inevitable, the product of dark historical energies, which continue to shape our contemporary world.I thought that Heart of Darkness was an exceptional book that tells a story about the author’s trip to Africa.
I was not sure if I was going to like it or not, until I was half way through the book, because Conrad does a lot of describing and it was a little hard to understand at first.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Heart of Darkness Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays. In our series, Guide to the classics, experts explain key works of literature.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness - or “The Heart of Darkness”, as it was known to its first readers - was.
A short Joseph Conrad biography describes Joseph Conrad's life, times, and work. Also explains the historical and literary context that influenced Heart of Darkness. Further Study. Test your knowledge of Heart of Darkness with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and links to the best resources around the web.
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