Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. In the early colonial era, there were little if any similarities or comprehension between European and African cultures. Additionally, the arrogance, motives, and hostility of the Europeans was no match for the merciless African environment.
The protagonist, Charlie Marlow, recounts to a group of men an earlier incident in his life when he was working for a Belgian trading company in the Congo. It is of interest to note the similarity of this technique to the technique used by Coleridge in his 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner', in which the mariner also begins the tale by addressing a listener about an ill-fated voyage.
Conrad must have drawn on his own experiences as a sea captain passing up the Congo river on a steam ship eight years prior to writing the book. Apparently he witnessed so many atrocities during that time that he actually quit his job.
Marlow is a complicated and philosophical character. He is essentially a guide through whom the reader understands the moral and behavioural extremes and complexities of the other characters and provides us insight into Africa, colonialism and the Company's activities.
He is physically and mentally damaged by his experiences during the trip though he barely survives to tell the tale on his return to Belgium.
Plot Summary Marlow takes a job as a river captain with a Belgian trading company and is sent up the Congo to intercept another company employee, Kurtz.
Kurtz is an intelligent and able yet deeply disturbing individual who during his time looking for ivory in the remote jungle has become an unrestrained and amoral megalomaniac.
Marlow has a difficult passage up the Congo into the interior of Africa and one feels as though the river and the jungle are trying to repel this additional European incursion.
This view is reinforced by the relative ease of his return from the inner station later: He also starts to question the traditional European perception of the African natives as inferior though falls short of viewing them as equals.
Marlow eventually arrives at the central station but gets stuck because his ship requires repairs and he hears that Kurtz is reportedly ill.
There he meets the unsavoury manager and his colleague, the bricklayer, who are suspicious of Marlow. Eventually Marlow is able to carry on with the journey and takes the manager, some cannibals and some agents along with him. The tension builds along the quiet and foreboding river and jungle.
At one point they find stacked firewood on the river shore with a note saying it is for them but to be cautious. After going back to their boat the ship is surrounded by fog and they are attacked by natives.
The African helmsman is killed but they continue on towards Kurtz. Finally they reach the Inner Station where they first meet a crazy Russian trader who tells them that he had left the wood and that Kurtz is alive.
The Russian trader says that Kurtz has enlarged his mind, freed himself of moral restraint and achieved god-like status with the natives. Part of this transformation has resulted in the use of brutal and violent methods in his search for ivory and the evidence of severed heads on posts at the inner station attests to this.
Kurtz is brought out on a stretcher by the agents from the boat. A large group of natives appear but Kurtz sends them away and they disappear into the forest. Kurtz is taken on board the ship and is joined by the Russian trader.
A native woman with whom Kurtz has been involved appears on the shore and the Russian trader indicates that she has had a troublesome influence on Kurtz during his time at the Inner Station. The trader tells Marlow secretly that Kurtz ordered the attack on the ship to try to deter them from coming to find him and to give them the impression he was dead.
The trader then flees the boat concerned that the manager of the central station might find this out. The ailing Kurtz also tries to escape separately that night but is found back on the shore by Marlow who returns him to the boat. Kurtz's health worsens on the return trip but he confides in Marlow and hands him his personal documents including one on how he thinks the savage natives should be civilised, concluding with the shocking statement:Charlie Marlow's Moral Dilemma in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness PAGES 3.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: heart of darkness, joseph conrad, charlie marlow. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed.
- Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" written in is an overwhelming chronicle of Marlow's journey into the heart of the African continent.
It is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century.
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay Words | 4 Pages. Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" written in is an overwhelming chronicle of Marlow's journey into the heart of the African continent. It is one of the . - Analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is a story about Marlow’s journey to discover his inner self.
Along the way, Marlow faces his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination on his trek to the inner station. The "moral shock" that Marlow feels when he realizes Kurtz is gone probably comes from his shock that this guy who's so much like him is gone.
The fact that Marlow just recently chose Kurtz over the manager and the Company makes it even worse. JOSEPH CONRAD'S -Heart Of Darkness Joseph Conrad¹s novel Heart of Darkness is about a seaman named Charlie Marlow and an experience he had as a younger man. Early in the novel it becomes apparent that there is a great deal of tension in Marlow¹s mind about whether he should profit from the immoral actions of the company he works for which is involved in the ivory trade in Africa.