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

Heart of Darkness - The Named and the Unnamed

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Named and the Unnamed Joseph Conrad's masterpiece, The Heart of Darkness, speaks of many characters with many different characteristics and personalities. It contains characters from all standings of society. In every case, except for Marlow and Kurtz, the characters are referred to by their position. Albeit the name of Fresleven, the man who commanded the steam boat on the Congo before Marlow, is mentioned, he is dead. The only characters that are called by name after that point are Marlow and Kurtz. These characters are set apart from the others in the novella. They are the two main characters of the story, however, there is something else that makes these two figures worthy of being called by name. Marlow and Kurtz are the only ones named because they do not hide who they are, everybody else does not see the truth, and they are the only ones who achieve enlightenment. ...read more.

Middle

The two men are not afraid to openly show themselves. Although the Europeans possess great knowledge of the world, they are blinded to the truth in this story. They do not see the folly and the truth that is around them. The women of the story serve as an example of this. Material possessions and the simplicity of their lives are the extent of what they see. If ivory is coming to them, they think that everything is going well. They do not realize what is behind getting the ivory. This is shown when Marlow and his aunt are speaking of the people of Africa. His aunt speaks of how the Europeans were "weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways." Marlow, who is not living the same lie as her and says to the reader, "It's queer how out of touch with truth women are." This can be taken as a sexist remark, however, the comment holds truth behind it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marlow comes to the conclusion that Kurtz has not been able to show the restraint needed in order to remain sane in the jungle. Marlow is enlightened on the fact that when seeing the truth in life there is a decision to make. The two choices he has are to avoid society and run away, as Kurtz did, or to remain in society and show restraint. It is not possible for the other characters, the fools of society, to be enlightened because they do not see the truth and can never comprehend enlightenment. Only Marlow and Kurtz accomplish this. Having a name sets the most exceptional characters apart from everybody else. They show that they should be named by not hiding their true character, seeing the truth while others cannot, and by receiving enlightenment. There is no reason to call the other characters by name because they are blinded to the truth. The named, however, have a certain extra understanding which makes them worth naming. The unnamed are made that way to set Kurtz and Marlow apart because the two are unique people. ...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. The Heart of Darkness Marlow's story of the Roman Conquest of Britain as an ...

    the citizens it was the same way that the Roman soldiers treated the English citizens and that caused him to think that all of the things that England is saying to the World about developing Africa in being a better country.

  2. Representation of Women In Heart of Darkness.

    She seemed to know all about them and about me too." Knowledge is a type of power: knowing things that others don't or before others, puts you ahead and makes you more aware. One of the women was described as having "...

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

    The phrase 'a brooding gloom in sunshine' sums up the theme of the novel, the existence of darkness at the core of a shining civilisation. Conrad uses the symbolism of 'light' and 'dark' throughout the novel; this symbolism of light and dark has been present in society for centuries.

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

    Conrad also makes use of a narrator to convey the story to the reader. This distances the reader from the story and Marlow, much like the British public were distanced from the truth of what was going on in Africa.

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

    When he is on the French Steamer and he sees the black fellows paddling he says the white of their eyeballs glistening (page 41). Also when he says they had faces like grotesque masks he would not say this about a white man, and you usually link masks with being scary.

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

    The criticism Conrad is making of colonialism in this novella is its pointlessness and his opinion that nothing of any worth is gained from the conquests. In fact, they bring much more The characters in the 'Heart of Darkness' come from many different European countries, and the fact that all

  1. The Failure of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness.

    Kurtz sent in "as much ivory as all the others put together" (pg 85). The company described him as the "best agent, an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the company" (pg 90). Kurtz went to the jungle for many reasons, but mostly to make money to return to Europe and marry his 'intended.'

  2. Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles ...

    they discover the "darkness" like from Mrs Rutter in "The Darkness Out There" and the woman and her dead son in "The Black Veil" those characters take over each text until both stories progress and the attention is drawn back to the main characters as their feelings are told.

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