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Heart of Darkness : 

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad’s Life : 

Joseph Conrad’s Life Born Josef Teodore Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski, in Podolia, Ukraine, in 1857. His father and mother, Apollo and Ewa, were political activists. They were imprisoned 7 months and eventually deported to Vologda Conrad’s mother died of pneumonia in 1865. In 1874, Conrad went to Marseilles France and joined the Merchant Navy

Joseph Conrad’s Life : 

Joseph Conrad’s Life Conrad eventually became a British merchant sailor and eventually a master mariner and citizen in 1886. He traveled widely in the east. He took on a stint as a steamer captain (1890) in the Congo, but became ill within three months and had to leave. In 1896, he married Jessie George a typist from Peckham. Conrad retired from sailing and took up writing full time. Writing took a physical and emotional toll on Conrad. The experience was draining

Heart of Darkness Background : 

Heart of Darkness Background After a long stint in the east had come to an end, he was having trouble finding a new position. With the help of a relative in Brussels he got the position as captain of a steamer for a Belgian trading company. Conrad had always dreamed of sailing the Congo Had to leave early for the job, the previous captain was killed in a trivial quarrel

Heart of Darkness Background : 

Heart of Darkness Background While traveling from Boma to the company station at Matadi he met Roger Casement who told Conrad stories of the harsh treatment of Africans Conrad saw some of the most shocking and depraved examples of human corruption . He was disgusted by the ill treatment of the natives, the scrabble for loot, the terrible heat and the lack of water. He saw human skeletons of bodies left to rot - many were bodies of men from the chain gangs building the railroads. He found his ship was damaged. Dysentary was rampant as was malaria; Conrad had to terminate his contract due to illness and never fully recovered

Heart of Darkness Narrative Structure : 

Heart of Darkness Narrative Structure Framed Narrative Narrator begins Marlow takes over Narrator breaks in occasionally Marlow is Conrad’s alter-ego, he shows up in some of Conrad’s other works including “Youth: A Narrative” and Lord Jim Marlow recounts his tale while he is on a small vessel on the Thames with some drinking buddies who are ex-merchant seamen. As he recounts his story the group sits in an all-encompassing darkness and pass around the bottle.

Varied Interpretations : 

Varied Interpretations Many different interpretations have been put on this book: Some see it as an attack on colonialism and a criticism of racial exploitation Some see Kurtz as the embodiment of all the evil and horror of the capitalist society. Others view it as a portrayal of one man’s journey into the primitive unconscious where the only means of escaping the blandness of everyday life is by self degradation.

Heart of Darkness Themes & Motifs : 

Heart of Darkness Themes & Motifs Darkness Primitive Impulses (Kurtz, previous captain, etc.)? Cruelty of Man (Kurtz and Company)? Immorality/Amorality (Kurtz)? Lies/Hypocrisy (Marlow chooses Kurtz evil versus Company’s hypocritical evil)? Imperialization/Colonization (Belgian Company)? Cruelty of Man Greed Exploitation of People

Heart of Darkness Themes & Motifs : 

Heart of Darkness Themes & Motifs Role of Women Civilization exploitive of women Civilization as a binding and self-perpetuating force

Review of Criticism : 

Review of Criticism Sociological/Cultural: Conrad was also apparently interested in a more general sociological investigation of those who conquer and those who are conquered, and the complicated interplay between them. Marlow's invocation of the Roman conquest of Britain cultural ambiguity of those Africans who have taken on some of the ways of their Europeans the ways in which the wilderness tends to strip away the civility of the Europeans and brutalize them Conrad is not impartial and scientifically detached from these things, and he even has a bit of fun with such impartiality in his depiction the doctor who tells Marlow that people who go out to Africa become "scientifically interesting."

Apocalypse Now : 

Apocalypse Now Apocalypse Now is a film that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando This film was based on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Coppola takes the story to Vietnam. Captain Willard (Marlow) is sent on a mission to kill Colonel Kurtz who has gone renegade

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