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Heart Of Darkness - Poem by Ciara Owens


Heart of Darkness
Ciara Owens
Per: 5
10/30/08
CR: 5



Ciara Owens
Per: 5
10/30/08
CR: 5

Heart of Darkness
Plot Analysis

Major conflicts involved in this novella are when Marlow and Kurtz confront the idea of being 'civilized' Europeans and the temptation to abandon morality completely once they are outside of Europe. External conflicts are Marlow and Kutz having to deal with the imperialism. An internal conflict is how Marlow has to deal with Kurtz losing his mind. The climax of the novella is when Marlow discovers that Kurtzx has lost all idea of European morals and behaviors. Events that lead to the resolution are when Marlow accepts Kurtz's legacy.

Marlow talks with Comp-any officials and Kurtz's family and friends, as well as having to visit Kutrz's intended. The protagonist in this novella is Marlow, he is philisophical, intependent-minded, and typically skeptical of others around him. He shares many European prejudices, and has seen enough around the world to even be skeptical of white men. The antagonist would be the people of the Inner Station, they torture, and enslave those working for them. Marlow discovers this and is appalled at the site. Marlow has to kep himself from losing his mind, while Kurtz calls himself a 'God' to the natives.

Ciara Owens
Per: 5
10/30/08
CR: 5

Heart of Darkness
Character Analysis

The main character in this novella is Marlow, he is a storyteller, able to draw anyone into his stories. He is skeptical of imperialism, and he's seen enough of the world to understand why imperialism is bad. Marlow is a complex character because the author slowly reveals Marlow's beliefs and ways of thinking to his readers throughout the story. The author reveals Marlow directly because the narrator tells us what Marlow says, and does. The relationship between Marlow and the company officials is that Marlow works as a riverboat captain with the Company.

Events that add to Marlow's epiphany is when he First begins working for the Company. Marlow meets Kurtz who is said to be very sick and Kurtz begins to lose his mind, surrounded by all the natives. Marlow gets to the Inner Station and sees how the company officials are tortuing and enslaving the natives of Africa. Africa seems to control the Europeans and causes them to break down. The epiphany that Marlow experiences is that once he reaches the Inner Station, he has to take on the responsibilities of Kurtz's legacy.

A simple character in Heart of Darkness, would be Marlow's Aunt, who gets him a position with the Company. She believes in imperialism as a good thing that brings civilization and religion to suffering, savages. She is an example of the naivete of women. A complex character in the novella is Kurtz, he is the chief of the Inner Station. He is a musician, and a painter. He understands the power of words. His downfall is his willingness to ignore the hypocrisy in the rules that govern European colonial conduct, he does not keep up appearances, and angers his white companions.

Ciara Owens
Per: 5
10/30/08
CR: 5

Heart of Darkness
Theme Analysis

Cenral ideas in Heart of Darkness, are the hypocrisy of Imperialism, in that the book states issues surround imperialism in hard to grasp ways. It shows that colonial enterprise is cruel, and they torture and enslave people. The Company steals ivory from native African people, however, they try to sugar coat it by saying they are working on a project of 'civilization, ' when really they are just taking over. Kurtz knows that he steals from the natives and is not afraid to admitt it. Kurtz describes his own treatment of the natives as 'supression' and 'extermination.' He doesn't hide that he rules through violence and force, honesty leads to his downfall as his successes threaten to expose all the terrible things happening in European colonies in Africa.

The title relates to the theme because the title, Heart of Dakrness, almost foreshadows the loss of humanity. Without a heart, we can express nothing, and being without emotion, is like not being human at all. I belive that the author feels that the treatment of the natives through imperialism is in a sense, evil. Why would Conrad write a book that clearly shows the cruelties of colonialism, if he didn't agree that imperialism should cease. Moral issues in the novella consist of the mistreatment of the natives as human beings as well as the madness created by absolute power over people.

Marlow, and Kurtz are the moral center of the novella because Marlow learns about the corruption of colonialism and feels that there is something he should do about it. He is prejudice like most europeans however, he has more of a sense of humanity, and sanity about him, rather than the majority of characters in the novella. The novella, above anything else, is an explorations of hypocrisy, and moral confusions. Marlow has to choose whether or not to join the hypocritical colonial bureaucracy, or the defiant Kurtz. Marlow is just as affected by Kurtz losing his mind as he would be about a leaky bucket.

In the Heart of Darkness, when Marlow says, 'The word 'ivory' rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I've never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion, ' which shows us how the word 'ivory' is more than an elephant tusk to the Company, it is economic freedom, an escape from a life of being an employee. Ivory has lost all connection to any physical reality but rather it has become something to be worshipped. When Marlow refers to the corpse, it is both a literal referemce amd a figurative one. Native Africans and Elephants are dying because the whire Europeans want to make money. The cruelties of the Company and their greed is an example of an evil older than the ivory.

Also in the novella when Marlow says, 'I was within a hair's-breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably i would have nothing to say. This is the reason why I affirm that Kurtz was a remarkable man. He had something to say. He said it... He had summed it up-he had judged. 'The horror! ' He was a remarkable man, ' he has just recovered from his near-fatal illness. He has 'nothing to say' because if he were to say anything profound enough, he fears that he would'nt be able to cute through the ambiguity, and create a definate 'something, ' that Kurtz had been able to do.Marlow will think about Kurtz and his last words, 'The horror! ' for the rest of his life, without realizing it, Kurtz has made himself immortal.

Ciara Owens
Per: 5
10/30/08
CR: 5

Heart of Dakrness
Symbolism Alalysis

Symbols in Heart of Darkness, include the fod which represents darkness. The fog distorts everyone's visions, giving just enough information for the to go forward on the riverboat, but no way of knowing what the river is life further up the Congo. The fog is a public symbol, easy to determine because everyone experiences a moment of being lost in the fog, and you can't see anything in front of you. Fog relates to the gloomy, darkness of the African Congo. In relation to Marlow, his steamer is caught in the fog, he has no idea where he's going and what lies ahead.

Another symbol in this novella is the river, it was the key to Africa for most Europeans. They can get to the center of the continent wothout having to cross it, it allows the white men to remain seperate from Africa. Africa in this novella is presented in two scence while Marlow continues his jorney upriver. The river wants to get many Europeans out of Africa, its current makes going upriver difficult, but the travel downriver, back towards 'civilization' and out of Africa.The difficulties Marlow experiences going up river express his confusion of how he got in this situation, while traveling back downriver symbolyzes his likeliness to Kurtz and his 'Choice of Nightmares.'


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