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

Heart Of Darkness Critical Analysis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critical Study of Text (Heart of Darkness) Heart of Darkness ? Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness explores many themes throughout the book which can be related to one another such as ?Identity? and ?Darkness? Joseph Conrad depicts these themes through the use of symbolism and how the narrator thinks and speaks. Joseph Conrad uses a diverse range of symbolism throughout the novel to communicate a deeper message within, it allows readers to think more in depth and make a connection to its meaning. It could also the message easier to understand. In Heart of Darkness there are two narrators, the first is unknown but opens the scene and through him we are introduced with Marlow, who himself is recounting his story; this indicates that almost everything in the book will be a reflection of his thoughts and what he sees, this leads into the first theme of discussion: Identity. Heart of Darkness is enriched with the focus of identity, as it follows throughout the whole of Marlow?s journey. One could say that ?Heart of Darkness? is about finding ones identity. ...read more.

Middle

Another important symbol linking to the theme of identity is Kurtz. Many ideas of identity, such as ?Loss of Identity? and ?creating a false identity? can relate back to Kurtz. Many could say that as Kurtz lost his humanity in the jungle, this is shown through the ?symbolic? heads on the pikes. Marlow states that ?they only showed that Mr Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts? the wilderness had found him out early, and taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion.? . This basically means that Kurtz?s disruptive stay at the jungle lead him to insanity thus losing his ?civilisation? or his identity. Darkness is also one of the major themes in the book. Readers can immediately see the dark context within the book. The theme of darkness basically is self-explanatory, throughout the book there is an absence of happiness, purity, compassion etc. The main idea of darkness is shown through what Marlow had learnt through his journey which is that there is darkness within every human, and that is a connection between all humans of every race and colour, no matter how civilised or how educated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marlow describes the atmosphere as an ?Incomprehensible frenzy?, this directly supports the physical theme of darkness. Another technique Joseph Conrad uses to reinforce the idea of darkness is through how Marlow thinks and speaks. The tone throughout the book is serious and to the point, when Marlow describes he uses powerful words to help readers visualise or feel both empathetic and sympathetic, an example of this is when his helmsman dies he describes it as ?? a pool of blood lay very still, gleaming dark-red under the wheel; his eyes shone with an amazing lustre, He looked at me anxiously gripping the spear like something precious, with an air of being afraid.? Conrad uses excessive description to apply this technique. He chooses words that constantly remind the notion of darkness upon readers. It can be evidently shown that throughout the book Joseph Conrad uses the narrative voice of Marlow and countless symbols to present his views and opinions on the ideas of Identity and Darkness. Conrad specifically utilizes the meaning of each and every word in the novel and can give both clear and distorted depictions which reinforce his ideas and the themes of ?Heart of Darkness?. Tommy Hwang 11EA3 ...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. Representation of Women In Heart of Darkness.

    He could have control over the natives but he would never be able to succumb to the "heart of darkness". The mistress, herself was actually a representation of Africa: "... like the wilderness itself..." which emphasises her power and compares it to that of her land into which even white men were afraid to venture too deep.

  2. The overall view of human nature in heart of darkness shown through the characters.

    Marlow starts off as a normal European at the start of the book; however, he doesn't follow the lead of the other Europeans. Instead Marlow relates more with the natives and feels a bond towards them. He becomes obsessed with idea of meeting Kurtz and this reflects his strange personality.

  1. Explore the themes of justace and things not being as they seem in The ...

    In 'The Darkness Out There' a lot of description is used, this gives a better sense of reality to the story, "chintzy mass from which cushions oozed" this gives an unpleasant impression the word "oozed" makes the reader think of slime or gunk "there was a smell of cabbage", "smelt

  2. Explore how the authors present the 'darkness' of the human heart and the savagery ...

    These two characters even before they were confronted by the so-called 'darkness' of Africa, were themselves 'evil' and 'dark', in the sense that they were egocentric and full of their Western superiority, and felt it was their duty to enforce civilization upon this 'primitive' country.

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

    Willard's understanding of this is one of the primary indications of his commencement towards his own spiritual journey. Kurtz opens opportunities to Willard - by venturing into Kurtz's foundations he ventures into his own. During this dialogue we see close up camera angles of Willard, sweaty with a torch and black background, giving him a strong look of obsessiveness.

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

    There is a build up to a climax, which builds tension, but in complete contrast to the build-up, he finishes "The dreams of men, the seeds of commonwealths, the germs of empires.." The seeds are what the British think they are planting in the darkness, civilising these 'savages' yet in

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

    This may show Marlow is a respected member of the crew on the boat. He warns us of Marlow's yarns saying that seamen's yarns are direct and simple, but Marlow's were a contrast and are not looking to the inside of the kernel (page 33)

  2. Light and Darkness in Heart of Darkness.

    It seemed somehow to throw a kind of light on everything about me------and into my thoughts." Knowing he is going to fulfill his dream in childhood and expecting his prospect as glorious and glamorous as that of those great man "of whom the nation is proud".

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