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

Heart of darkness provides us with a definitive guide on what it means to be a civilised human being. Discuss this statement with close reference to the novel.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Heart of darkness provides us with a definitive guide on what It means to be a civilised human being. Discuss this statement With close reference to the novel. Heart of darkness provides us with a plan as to what civilisation is giving information on a selection of subjects including the main themes colonialism and imperialism. To be civilised does not mean you wear smart clothes or have a respectable lifestyle is the main point introduced by this book. Civilisation and the white man are commonly connected as which man is thought upon as 'civilised'. Civilisation to a white man introduces the idea of clean clothes, shoes, speaking the queens English, owning a well kept house with a respectable family. But Conrad shows us this doesn't mean that a person is civilised. Kurtz began as a normal civilised person but then becomes a dictator, a controller of hundreds of natives. Conrad portrays the characters that he believes to be civilised in a way that the reader classes them and believes they can do no wrong. The savages are described as having no shoes they are thought upon as sub-humans and are subject to extremely racist attacks 'nigger' as they are different 'negro' words that should never be used by civilised beings. However the behaviour of the savages seem to be a lot more moral and civilised that the white man. ...read more.

Middle

The white man appears to be superior to the black mans culture but it is not. There should be no differences which include race or religion because this book shows there is no difference both white and black are civilised. The black heads on sticks the 'savages' heads. The heads are a sign that Kurtz believes he is superior to the black man but it is Kurtz who is the savage breaking the rules to humanity. There are imitations of supernatural forces throughout the novel, the fog surrounding the boat.' We have been buried deep in a heap of cotton wool' A cloud forming that no one can venture trough a shutter of the darkness. The smiling heads on sticks a hint of the darkness that Kurtz mind and heart beholds. A reminder that Kurtz heart has been altered. As Kurtz becomes more of a dictator the tale sails further into the Congo and the darkest depths of the heart. Kurtz has walked into an ethically ruled civilisation where white law is no enforces and has created a new world for himself no matter what happens to anybody else. He has been able to commit cries a of savagery and has shown he has no restraint and resentment for his actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

H e lives in terror and in an area were he lives and rules in devastation. His 'magnificent' tribal mistress is the only person treats well. Kurtz originally lived as a civilised man he was a clever head of a business with a bright future in administration. This symbolises his civilisation, his fianc� shows that he was law abiding and loveable. Marlow protects his fianc� with the lie saying he was a good citizen and his last words were the name of is fianc� and not 'The horror...the horror' This shows how much Marlow respects Kurtz' fianc� and that Marlow has made up his mind to protect her goodness and light. Marlow admires Kurtz leadership and now he taught the natives things but he will not respect him for betraying his fianc�. Kurtz last words are significant 'The horror' as they describe his reign exactly and show what his final thoughts were about what he had done . Kurtz past life showed civilisation but his present life showed nothing but brutality. Civilisation is restraint. The definitive guide to being civilised, as presented to us by Conrad, in this novel, consists in resisting the instinctive, primal impulses which make us cruel and selfish, and exercising restraint, no matter how primitive our cultures, we treat others with respect. This respect is in the heart of a truly civilised person, not darkness. ...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.

    "...the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul." Emphasising these three characters' power, Conrad uses a contrasting character for comparison.

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

    He knows the things he sees are just the consequences of an even worse darkness, that in the hearts of the colonialists. Before his explorations, Marlow himself is opposed to colonialism, but the further he ventures into Africa, the less critical of it he becomes, starting and continuing to see

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

    This is not only a slightly unusual presentation, once again prompting the reader to reassess the ordinary; it also gives a great insight into Marlow's, and indeed Conrad's own vision and perception of the outside world. Modernist writers often presented the world as desolate, and Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is no exception.

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

    Civilization, however, must be learned. London itself, in Heart of Darkness is a symbol of enlightenment, was once "one of the darker places of the earth" before the Romans forced civilization upon them. There is a clear implication in both books that civilization can be learnt just as easily as it can also be unlearnt.

  1. Light and Darkness in Heart of Darkness.

    Marlow's understanding of civilization is here fundamentally changed: the civility of the imperialism he initially thinks of as rational and glorious turns out to be blind and degraded. Light, at this phase, is equated with sin, ignorance and blindness. On the other hand, the darkness in Kurtz's last moment serves as the metonym of ultimate knowledge.

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

    There is a calm start, where the "sea and sky were welded together." "Welded," suggests that this is a developed and industrialised city, which at this time was a sign of a great city. Conrad use a variety of literary techniques to convey double meanings in what he is saying, showing his true feelings on the matter.

  1. The perfection of a short story lies in the symbiosis between content and form. ...

    Nevertheless the captain is aware of the situation and knows that "this could not go on forever." (337) The captain takes pity on Leggat and evolves a special relationship with him because he feels "almost as much of a stranger on board as himself" (329).

  2. Conrad's usage of imagery in the "Heart of Darkness"

    Also, Conrad uses imagery to depict the journey up the Congo and through the darkness of the African Safari. There are two reasons why he described, in extensive detail, Marlow's trip. The first reason was to show the effects of wilderness on the human heart.

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