The heart of darkness essays

PoCo17 Video Essay #1: Heart of Darkness

The author describes his charisma and eloquence when he arrives from Europe. He is a charming philanthropist who, upon his arrival, had the interests of the natives at heart.


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As the reader, one feels admiration for this man with such noble intentions. When he gets to Congo, he abandons all his good intentions for the natives, and lets the savage in him take over. As much as we want to label him morally sick due to his actions in the jungle, he is just an exaggeration of the impulses we have inside us.

Assess the importance of setting in Heart of Darkness Essay

The madness was due to the continued isolation in the African wilderness. He lets his savage side loose in the jungle, doing all kinds of evil, and eventually this causes madness that gradually kills him. The natives regard him as a god, and adore him and he is able to trick them into giving him the ivory, and this gives him leverage with the company that lets him do whatever he pleases as long as he keeps the piles of ivory coming. Different characters respond differently to Kurtz; Marlow is fascinated by him, the manager envies and despises him, and the harlequin worships him.

As the reader, the reaction and expectation of the story is influenced by what the author communicates about the characters.

Joseph Conrad/The Heart Of Darkness Essay - Words - Ostatic

The author blames the African jungle for the death of Kurtz. In the beginning of the story, the description of the eloquent, charming Englishman that comes to aid in civilization of the native is a sharp contrast to the ivory raiding, crazy man roaming the Congo jungle. The African wilderness in this novella is described as a dark continent with uncivilized savage natives whom the white man thought they could civilize and humanize. According to the author, the African continent is to blame for the heart of darkness unleashed in Kurtz.

Through descriptions of what he has gone through in the jungle, the reader is able to grasp and probably feel sorry for Kurtz. Through his journey, Marlow discovers that the African jungle may be terrifying, but it is not as dark as the evil we harbor inside us.

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Another description of the African jungle is the dehumanization of characters, shown by the lack of names for the other characters in the book. Apart from Kurtz and Marlow, the rest are known by their titles in the book, for example, the manager, the intended and the harlequin.


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    All quotes contain page numbers as well. In the immutability of their surroundings the foreign shores, the foreign faces, the changing immensity of life, glide past, veiled not by a sense of mystery but by a slightly disdainful ignorance; for there is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny.

    Lights came out of this river since…. We live in the flicker—may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday. No Falernian wine here, no going ashore. This is my share in the advantages my country shall reap from the possession of such a magnificent dependency.

    Heart Of Darkness Analysis Essay

    The mere wealth I leave to others. They live in a world of their own, and there had never been anything like it and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact we men have been living with consistently every since the day of creation would start up and knock the first thing over. They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now—nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation….

    Reference: Conrad, Joseph.