Heart Of Darkness 16 Essay Research Paper
Heart Of Darkness 16 Essay, Research Paper
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a novel where the chief character Marlow is stating a narrative of a trip to the Congo. This novel is said to perchance be an autobiography of Conrad s life at sea. This is said because Conrad was a mariner for a many old ages and went into Africa many times. The narrative is so powerful that even after 100 old ages, we still struggle with its significance. This narrative has been retold by Francis Ford Coppola in the movie Apocalypse Now. Chinua Achebe has late explored Conrad s thoughts on imperialism. Achebe believed Conrad s book presented a racialist position of the people of Africa and Achebe in his ain book, Things Fall Apart, presented imperialism through the eyes of the Africans.
The narrative of Heart of Darkness is being told to four work forces on the deck of the Nellie. The narrative being told is about one of Marlow s expeditions to the Congo in hunt of an Ivory huntsman named Kurtz. When Marlow found Kurtz in the Congo, Kurtz had gone native Marlow found, a caput that seemed to kip at the top of that pole, outside of Kurtz s house and Kurtz had been runing with folks in the country ( Conrad, 73 ) . When Marlow arrived Kurtz, was sick and deceasing. Kurtz cried out the words The horror! The horror! right before he died ( Conrad, 85 ) . These words cried out by Kurtz as he died created the most of import transitions in Heart of Darkness. The manner this one transition is interpreted determines how the book is interpreted.
One reading is that the horror is decease and Kurtz is recognizing he is deceasing. Kurtz is horrified at the idea of deceasing and is shouting out in hurting of the realisation. Kurtz may be afraid to decease in the bosom of darkness. Kurtz may be afraid to decease cognizing that he will ne’er see his intended once more and he may experience guilty for go forthing his intended for his barbarian life. This reading shows a book about lost love and guilt for happening a new life. This reading is one of the lupus erythematosus complex and uninteresting readings.
Now here is a more interesting and complex reading. Some view Heart of Darkness as a racialist book. This reading comes from the position that the horror Kurtz is placing is his being brought down to the African ways. This reading sees the African ways as barbarian and horrid to Kurtz when he realizes he was at their degree. Kurtz realizes that he is at the African s degree when he sees Marlow and Marlow s civilized ways.
Besides in the book Conrad negotiations about Africans in degrading and straight-out racialist ways. The Africans are viewed as barbarian savages who are barbarian and hence inferior to civilised people. One statement against this reading is that these were the thoughts of the clip and when Conrad used degrading names for the Africans he was merely utilizing the excepted linguistic communication of the clip and showing the positions of the clip. Merely because the thoughts and linguistic communication were excepted at the clip does non do the positions non racist in any mode. The clip period that Conrad wrote in was the tallness of imperialism. The late 18th and early nineteenth century was a really racist clip period and the excepted thoughts were highly racist. Conrad was non a bad individual for believing these things because they were the excepted thoughts at the clip but the thoughts were racialist. This reading of the horror being the horror of the barbarian would intend that the book was a racialist book.
The horror has besides been interpreted as the horror of the interior human psyche ( Beaconschool, 1 ) . When person is taken out of civilisation they are unbounded by civilisation when this happens, the interior human psyche lets out its natural evilness. This reading suggest that worlds are of course evil and evil is in the bosom of our psyches. Civilization merely keeps that immorality at bay and one time person is unbounded by civilisation the immorality comes out. This reading shows us that Conrad s novel is basically a psy
chological novel. The bosom of darkness is the darkness in the human psyche and Conrad s novel is stating the narrative of person happening the interior darkness. That individual is Kurtz and when Kurtz cries out The horror! he has found the horror of the interior psyche within him. In this reading the novel is about ego and human find. Conrad may be stating us about himself seeking for his inner ego. In this position, Africa is merely a symbol for the human psyche and the human psyche from the beginning of clip. Conrad even compares the trip up the river to a trip to the beginning of clip ( Conrad, 55 ) . The Heart of Darkness may be the bosom of the human psyche and Conrad suggests this bosom to be evil.
Another reading of Heart of Darkness is that it is an anti-imperialist book and in this context the horror is imperialism and colonialism. Marlow intimations this facet when he makes the mention to the Romans they were traveling to run an oversea imperium, and do no terminal of coin by trade ( Conrad, 24 ) . This line is of import because it brings out the point that what is happing in Africa is what happened to England. England was oppressed by the Romans and is now suppressing the Africans. Kurtz, being European has realized what imperialism and colonisation has done to the Africans. Imperialism and colonisation has oppressed them and taken their natural resources off from them. Kurtz realizes this and wants people to cognize the horror of this because at this clip people back in Europe did non recognize imperialism was so horrid. Peoples did non cognize how horrid imperialism was because when people went back to Europe they would lie about how bad it was. Marlow says of adult females, we must assist them to remain in that beautiful universe of their ain, lest ours gets worse ( Conrad, 63 ) . Conrad uses adult females in his book to be the symbol for the people who are being lied to. In the terminal of the fresh Marlow goes to Kurtz intended and she asks what were Kurtz s last words. Marlow lies to her and tells her that Kurtz spoke of her in his last words. Marlow does this because he could non state her. It would hold been excessively dark to dark wholly & # 8230 ; ( Conrad, 94 ) . Marlow, because he did non state her, asked himself if he was making Kurtz an unfairness. Did Kurtz want the truth to be eventually told? Marlow could non state the truth and he was upset because he did non convey the truth out. This is an illustration of what went on in this clip period. If people had non been lying about how atrocious colonisation and imperialism was it may hold non gone on for so long.
Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness has simple readings and really complex readings. None of these readings are incorrect or right. None of these readings are less of import than the others, on the contrary all the readings make Heart of Darkness what it is. These different readings are what give the book its different degrees of significance. What makes this truly interesting is that all these readings stemmed from one transition The horror! The horror! ( Conrad, 85 ) . This transition is so complex because it creates the inquiry, what horror? The reply of that one inquiry depends on the reading of the novel. The reading of the novel does non hold to lodge to one consecutive reading. The novel can hold many different significances that work together and make one reading. An illustration of this is that the horror could be both the horror of detecting the bosom of the interior psyche and seeking to state how atrocious colonisation is. The reading could state that colonisation is the bosom of darkness and is true immorality and that true evil lies in the bosom of our psyches.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York, N.Y. , Ballantine
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York, N.Y. , St. Martin s
Press, Inc. , 1989.
School, Beacon. Http: /www.beaconschool.org/