Presentation on theme: "“Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings."— Presentation transcript:
2“Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest” – Conrad, Heart of Darkness
3A River Boat. Near Bumba, Congo Belge, July 29, 1909. Heart of Darkness recounts the tale of Charles Marlow’s journey in the Congo in search for the elusive Kurtz. As he travels into the heart of Africa as the captain of a river boat, he sees how “uncivilized” and “civilized” men clash. His experiences lead him to question the nature of man and society.A River Boat. Near Bumba, Congo Belge, July 29, 1909.
4In case you are wondering…. Click on the close-up map of the Congo. If you have earphones, plug them in. Click on “English,” or your language of choice, and then “Enter.” If you do not have headphones, just read the subtitles that will appear once the program begins.
5A brief history of the Congo King Leopold of Belgium, under the guise of a philanthropic effort to “civilize” the natives by building schools, providing medical care, and bringing Christianity, oppressed the natives and stripped the land for his personal wealth.Click on “King Leopold” and read the more comprehensive biography of King Leopold II and his reign in the Congo.
6"Leopold is too well known as a domestic person, as a family person," said Mark Twain, facetiously, "as a king and a pirate, to believe what he says. He sits at home and drinks blood. His testimony is no good. The missionaries are to be believed. I have seen photographs of the natives with their hands cut off because they did not bring in the required amount of rubber. If Leopold had only killed them outright it would not be so bad; but to cut off their hands and leave them helpless to die in misery--that is not forgivable.”These documents are pdfs and may take a bit longer to load…they might also load behind the powerpoint, so if it is done, check there.The “Mark Twain” hyperlink will take you to the full essay by Mark Twain…skim over it, read some sections, and check out the illustrations.The “photographs” link will take you to the reply to Twain’s essay by the Congo Reform Association’s Secretary. If you scroll down, you will see photographs that are intended to counter the negative portrayal of Leopold’s rule in the Congo.Children mutilated during King Leopold II's rule
7Joseph ConradBorn Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857 in Berdichev (Ukraine)On August 19, 1886, he becomes a British subjectFrom June 12, December 4, 1890 he works in the Belgian CongoOn February 6, 1899, Conrad finishes writing Heart of Darkness.On August 3, 1924, Conrad dies of heart attack at his home near Canterbury.You need earphones for this one…borrow some if you forgot…Click on the author’s name, and read the brief introduction to the Mercury Theater. Scroll down to find the reading of Heart of Darkness. Click on RealPlayer and listen to the Orson Welles recording…at least listen to the beginning where Welles gives a brief account of Conrad’s life and listen to the beginning few minutes of the story….It is just cool to here Orson Welles reading it.
8Brief author bio:He had a love for the sea that beckoned him to explore and sail; he worked in the British navy for 16 years. This had a profound impact on his writing, and it developed and deepened his passion for the sea (Omo).“In 1889, he was the captain of a steamboat on the Congo River. He always wanted to go to Africa and felt drawn there. His experiences there are what inspired Heart of Darkness. Conrad later returned to England in 1891 and worked as a sailor until He then retired from sailing and spent the rest of his life writing. He became quite popular in England. They even wanted to knight him in 1924, but he refused. He died that same year” (Omo).
9Early Modernism & Heart of Darkness Social breakdown, fragmentation: loss of faith in progress, science, religion, politics.Alienation from urban bureaucratic society: it becomes a sterile, materialistic “waste land”Challenge structures of human life--e.g. Christianity- as “convenient fictions” created to impose order and meaning on a random, senseless, violent worldRead over the explanation of Modernism on this hyperlink.
10“On another level, Heart of Darkness can be read as a ‘Psychological Novel,’ wherein the focus shifts from the story told to the mental life and perceptions of the story teller, wherein the importance lies in the act of story telling itself as a search for meaning and healing” (Davis et al).
12BibliographyAllingham, Philip. “White Lies and Whited Sepulchres in Conrad's Heart of Darkness.” Victorian Web.Davis et al. "The 20th Century: The Modern Age & Emerging World Culture"Omo, Michael. “Heart of Darkness.” Western Michigan University. 6 MayAfter viewing the PowerPoint and the links, write (type if you have time remaining in class) a brief response…what do you think about the book you are about to read? What questions do you still have? What do you expect from this novella? Other thoughts/comments?