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    Heart of Darkness

    by Joseph Conrad

    Book Description

    Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad. It is widely regarded as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western canon. The story tells of Charles Marlow, an Englishman who took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Heart of Darkness exposes the myth behind colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters--the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the European's cruel treatment of the natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil. Although Conrad does not give the name of the river, at the time of writing the Congo Free State, the location of the large and important Congo River, was a private colony of Belgium's King Leopold II. Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver. However, his more pressing assignment is to return Kurtz, another ivory trader, to civilization, in a cover-up. Kurtz has a reputation throughout the region. This symbolic story is a story within a story or frame narrative. It follows Marlow as he recounts from dusk through to late night, to a group of men aboard a ship anchored in the Thames Estuary his Congolese adventure. The passage of time and the darkening sky during the fictitious narrative-within-the-narrative parallel the atmosphere of the story.

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    Average Rating (4.2)
    Review of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    5.0 out of 5
    Dark, sweeping, and profound
    Conrad's Heart of Darkness will always remind me of the film Apocalypse Now and the metaphor of traveling up the river is equally powerful in both stories. Marlow's personal journey is compelling and the suspense to find Kurtz builds and builds right up until they make contact and then the journey back down the river culminates in one of the most enigmatic comments that I've read..."The horror! The horror!"
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    tsl73
    on December 14, 2010
    If you're writing a Heart of Darkness essay and need some advice, post your Joseph Conrad essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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