Presentation on theme: "JOSEPH CONRAD Heart Of Darkness. Joseph Conrad Born in 1857 in Poland Harsh childhood: age 3- dad imprisoned for revolutionary political affiliations."— Presentation transcript:
Joseph Conrad Born in 1857 in Poland Harsh childhood: age 3- dad imprisoned for revolutionary political affiliations Age 8- mother dies of TB Age 12- father dies of TB Raised by uncle Became a seaman/joined a British ship; captain of a Congo steamer Visited the Belgian Congo: inspiration for H of Darkness; he suffered his own “darkness” after he returned home
Novel Published in 1899 “interior, suggestively analytic, and highly psychological” (Norton Critical Edition) Genre: frame narrative main story is composed as a “frame” for shorter stories Story within a story Unnamed narrator establishes the position for the main story
The Congo Free State King Leopold II’s rule in 1885 Declared it his personal property in 1892 Allowed Belgian’s to take ivory without trade with natives Traders became like K.
Themes Ignorance and apathy of Europeans to the situation in the Congo Ivory trade barbaric and no one took the time to realize Questions morality of those who did know The potential of “darkness” in humanity Kurtz falls to greed and incivility British colonists’ and Belgian trader’s abuse of the natives
Characteristics of the world City versus jungle; English versus natives; land versus water Reverse paradigm: traveling from enlightened state to that of darkness of the human condition Class difference between natives and other characters: clothing, mannerisms, language, expectations, education Ivory trade prominent: nec. to “civilize” the natives Bleak, dank, dark Marlow becomes aware
Main Char. Desire/ world affects? Charles Marlow Desires to “see the world”- ironic discovery Intrigued by Kurtz; finds him mysterious and one to be in awe over Develops a need to see him When M. meets K. he realizes K.’s barbarism + loss of humanity Traveling downriver symbolic of birth, water = symbol of baptism, BUT all in reverse: ironic (reverse paradigm) “the horror” = truth behind human greed/ ability to treat other humans
Char. Succeed or Fail? M. succeeds in locating K. (literally) so he “sees the world” BUT does not understand him Intent was to discover why K. had such a reputation and following—this does not happen “the horror” is that K. has created and also is the greed and savagery in the Congo BUT this is not what M. admits to K.’s wife= M. tells “white lie” (his heart of darkness?) If does not tell truth about K. demise to wife, then the possibility of stopping it from happening again lessens