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Heart of Darkness

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Introduction

Jessica Johnson English Coursework "Heart of darkness" by Joseph Conrad "Write an analysis of the extract (pages 96 - 97) from Heart of Darkness considering: * How the setting contributes to the main themes of the novel * What the narrative Suggests about the characters of Kurtz and Marlow * How the extract embodies Conrad's purpose for writing the novella * The effect of language and how this shapes the reader's response" This is an extract from the Novella, "Heart of darkness", written in the early 1800s by Joseph Conrad. The book's focal point is the main character Marlow an introspective sailor, and his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz. The setting of this scene contributes to the main themes of the novel as it ties in with the unusual, uncivilised settings that the protagonist Marlow has described through the majority of this novella. This novel was seen as a modern piece of literature in the time it was written as it possesses certain characteristics not often seen in novels of the period. ...read more.

Middle

This continues the dark and gloomy imagery. It is all very uninviting and very uncomfortable. Conrad does this to try and make the reader feel like he did at this point; the illustration of the Congo is all negative. He eventually refers to the Congo as "The heart of Darkness" although the reader will automatically recognise this as it is the title. Conrad has now enabled the reader to understand his meaning of this title and be able to relate to it slightly more. Describing the Congo as "the heart of darkness" almost makes it seem scary in addition to making it sound like the Congo is really in the depth of darkness. Whether Marlow is here referring to the indigenous people featured in the novella or the setting, he makes it sound unpleasant. In the beginning of the story, Marlow describes the setting of England using very positive imagery and it is portrayed as a civilised, acceptable place to be. When Marlow first comes to the Congo, he sees it and the people who live there as uncivilised and reacts to it as "other", this is due to his own discomfort with the environment. ...read more.

Conclusion

"His bony arm, clasped round my neck", "not much heavier than a child." This extract embodies Conrad's purpose for writing the novella as Marlow is finally with Kurtz and he finally reaches the "Heart of Darkness" which is symbolic of both fears and desires. Ironically, as they leave the Congo the "brown current" running is identified with Kurtz life also "ebbing away". Kurtz was the only character Marlow was interested in meeting through out the story. Having met him, he understands what he believes to be the real man - not a nice man - a man that looks with "fiery eyes, wistfulness and hate". The time this novella was written it would have only be natural for a character like Marlow still felt the importance of Kurtz and by the end of the story he ensures that all his affairs are dealt with. However, we are left with no doubt that both Marlow saw people with ordinary inferior jobs as not having much importance, however at the time this would be a modernist style of literature. Jessica Johnson English Coursework ...read more.

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