Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Heart of Darkness

18615474Dark allegory describes Marlow’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad was more than just an assignment for a class I'm taking. It was a whirlwind of adventure, oppression, and greed. When Charlie Marlow reflects back on his journey to the African Congo, he reveals how greed spurred men to kill, threaten, and take the riches from the indigenous people.

Marlow is about the only morally good character in the book. He's the narrator of the story being shared, but is not the narrator of the novella. The story is being told by Marlow while on a boat sitting in the Thames, the narrator is one of the crew members who is listening to the story. Marlow is a man of principle and curiosity. He needed work so his Aunt helped him become a ship Captain, charged with traveling through the Congo to find Mr. Kurtz. Along the journey, Marlow witnesses the oppression that Imperialism has caused, leading to death and darkness. 

The thing I found most interesting about the book was the correlation between Marlow's story and Conrad's own life. Joseph Conrad actually did what Marlow describes and I think he was plagued with guilt afterward. Perhaps, more specifically, survivor's guilt. Or even guilt at taking part in such an oppressive operation. I think that Heart of Darkness was an attempt at reconciliation with that guilt through a sort of confession. I could go on and on about this, but I'll just say for those of you literature buffs, if you haven't read Heart of Darkness, I recommend you do. It's an interesting tale of morality in the center of evil. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

1 comment:

  1. Been a while since I read this but it was a wonderful adventure.