• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Heart of Darkness

Extracts from this document...


"Heart Of Darkness" By Joseph Conrad Write about a main character who is presented as an outsider or isolated from the people and/or society around him. Show how the novelist creates this impression and discuss how effective you think it is in conveying an important theme of the novel. In Joseph Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness",the main character, Marlow, is presented as an outsider and is isolated from the people and the society which surround him. Conrad creates this impression through the use of various literary techniques and by doing this, Conrad conveys an important theme of the novel - isolation. From the first time his character is introduced to the reader, Marlow is described as a different and unusual individual. In the opening scene of the novel, where they are on board "The Nellie" on the Thames, the opening characters are all addressed with a certain title, for example, "The Director of Companies" and "The Accountant", whereas Marlow is just given his own name, immediately implying that he is different compared to everyone else on board the ship. ...read more.


For example, throughout the scene where Marlow is in the "grove of death", the place where all the black slaves withdraw from their work to die, Conrad continues his theme of isolation as he cleverly uses imagery to describe the differences between the lifestyles of Marlow and the slaves clearly without actually mentioning them. He does this by pointing out to the reader that Marlow has come from a very well respected place in Europe, an extremely well-off continent. He then contrasts this point by comparing it with an extremely poor country in Africa. To do this, Conrad has used imagery in describing the setting and atmosphere in both places. He describes London as: "...the monstrous town was still marked ominously on the sky, a brooding gloom in sunshine, a lurid glare under the stars." To contrast the lifestyles and backgrounds of Marlow and the slaves, he compares Marlow's background to that of the slaves, which he is now facing in the "grove of death": "I came upon a boiler wallowing in the grass, then found a path leading up the hill. ...read more.


Conrad proves this to the reader by describing certain sudden feelings and reactions Marlow has when he is faced with the reality that these slaves face every day and the sheer shock it gives him. For example, when one of the dying slaves reaches out to Marlow as if in desperate need, all Marlow can think of doing is offering him a biscuit: "...the sunken eyes looked up at me, enormous and vacant, a kind of blind, white flicker in the depths of the orbs which died out slowly. The man seemed young - almost a boy... I found nothing else to do but offer him one of my good Swede's ship's biscuits i had in my pocket." This again shows the awkwardness Marlow feels in this strange land and makes him feel more isolated from the surrounding civilisation. In conclusion, I think that Joseph Conrad creates a very vivid impression of Marlow's isolation through the use of various literary techniques, including characterisation, setting and imagery. By doing this, he effectively conveys the important theme of loneliness and isolation. 822 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Joseph Conrad essays

  1. DIscuss The Title Of Conrad's 'Heart Of Darkness'

    referring to how black people all look the same to him from a distance. As the guard recognises Marlow and smiles, there is more sarcasm from Marlow, describing the guards trust as being 'exalted', and describing himself as being a 'part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings'.

  2. Compare Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now, both being examples of journeys ...

    their army anymore...I felt like he was up there waiting for me to take his pain away..."

  1. Discuss The Title Of Conrad's Novel 'Heart Of Darkness'.

    the world, a point Kurtz reaches, but Marlow didn't, showing Marlow to be a stronger and more restrained than Kurtz The novel opens on the river Thames, at the centre of the most civilised city on the planet, London, and centres around a ship anchored on the river.

  2. How does the preparation for the river journey at the start of Heart of ...

    physicality of the wilderness as the phrase gives you a sense that the wilderness is high above. Also you can get a psychological view of the wilderness as Kurtz had been charmed by the wilderness, in a sense that the wilderness "took him under its wing".

  1. Heart of Darkness. Discuss the variety of ways in which the title of ...

    but suffering for the Africans, destroying their traditional cultures and way of life. The natives who Marlow sees and have been left to die once they are considered useless further emphasises the atrocities of colonialism. Although I have read Conrad's views as a criticism of colonialism, there are other views, notably that of Chinua Achebe in his afore mentioned essay.

  2. With Reference to the designated extract from Heart of Darkness write a detailed analysis. ...

    Throughout 'Heart of Darkness' there is much evidence of the search for knowledge so many modernists embarked upon. Marlow claims he is 'about to set off for the centre of the earth' (p.29), which is seen by many as a quest for intellectual excellence and heroism, as well as a journey into the unknown; a common theme in modernist literature.

  1. Remind yourself of the opening passage of Heart of Darkness, as far as "…under ...

    The Thames is referred to as a "gateway to civilization" because it connects to the civilized city of London. It is very interesting how the city is always described in stark contrast to its dark surroundings, which may be water or land, as they are so vague.

  2. When one reads the novel Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and watches the ...

    When he meets Kurtz, he kills him and then works his way back home. Heart of Darkness took place in Africa, when it was not fully inhabited or known. Marlow is eager to go on a mission, to go sailing, to steer a steamboat (pgs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work