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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the title of Conrad's 'Heart Of Darkness' 'Heart of Darkness' is considered to be the first example of 'modernist literature'. It was written in 1902 by Joseph Conrad, who was a Polish novelist, though he wrote many of his works in English. 'Heart of Darkness' is one of the first novels in which the writer removes the use of grammar and punctuation, in order to convey a 'stream of consciousness', like we are viewing the events of the novel from the perspective of the protagonist. The novel is set in Africa, along the river Congo, at around 1902, the peak of colonialism, and the point at which The British Empire covered a third of the world. However, this was, the 'peak' of the British Empire - the empire did not grow after this point. After the Boer War in South Africa, Great Britain had started to decline. Slavery also began to decline, it was outlawed in Britain, but a blind eye was turned towards slavery in the Dark Continent. The West carried on with their occupation of Africa, under the pretence that they were was spreading Christianity, and bringing the 'light of civilisation' to the 'Heart of Darkness', i.e. Central Africa. In a nutshell, 'Heart of Darkness' is about the journey of a man named Marlow into Africa. ...read more.

Middle

it could symbolising how though the British did use brute force and killed many people, they did often bring knowledge and civilisation to the 'barbarians'. The second statement, 'bearers of spark from the sacred fire', however, clearly represents how the British brought Christianity and God from Britain to the people of Africa. Conrad also implements the use of bathos, undermining the rest of the paragraph, which is very jingoistic, all about the greatness of the empire. The bathos of which I am referring to is 'The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires.' The use of the word 'germs' is very negative, and, in a way, 'cancels out' all of the writing before. The next section of the novel that I wish to examine is known as the 'Grove of Death'. It is a description of Marlow's initial impressions and observations of the Outer Station, and all the slave labour going on. As he sees the land around him, he notices many 'mounds of turned up earth', and 'wastes of excavations', he speaks of the land as if it has been 'raped' of all its resources, and left as a barren wasteland. His first impressions of the African slave workers seems racist, as he compares there black, naked bodies to ants, however, it is more likely that this is just a reference to the futility and uselessness of the work that is going on. ...read more.

Conclusion

As he goes towards the trees for shade, he instantly regrets it, making a direct reference to 'Dante's Inferno'. Dante's Inferno is one perception of what hell would be like. His vision of hell consists of seven rings, each ring containing people who have sinned a particular way, with the rings varying degrees of punishment. He looks around, noticing the slaves, 'objectifying' them as 'black shapes'. He makes an ironic comment, calling the slaves 'helpers' and stating how they have 'withdrawn to die'. He talks about how they have been abandoned in a very understating way. There is another reference to Dante's Inferno here, as he notices the 'black shadows of disease and starvation'. Marlow then leaves the trees, but looks down to see a black slave, who has a white thread around his neck. He is startled at how strange and out of place it looks on the black skin. This is symbolic of the white men of the empire being out of place in Africa. To conclude, the 'Heart of Darkness' within the play refers to the inner capability to commit evil acts in all men, and the evil of the empire underneath the front of 'spreading civilisation and the light of Christianity'. The two sections of the novel which I have chosen to examine are full of symbolic imagery, referring to the title, and raising questions in the readers mind about the greatness of Britain. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 3 ...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. Heart of Darkness - The Named and the Unnamed

    Women of that time did not go out into the savagery of the jungle. They simply enjoyed what came out of the killing and suffering of others. Such people could never be exposed to the truth because it would destroy their world.

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

    the deeper into the continent they travelled, the further into the Heart of Darkness, or the evil, savage world they travelled. We are also taken on an introspective journey of Marlow's psyche and mind, through his spiritual battles and changes.

  1. Bring out the significance of the title 'The secret sharer' - What do Legatt ...

    (pg 20) The captain describes his secret sharer as his double; they are mentally, physically a shadow of each other. "I was so identified with my secret double" (pg 21) "....my other self in there" (pg 22) The secret partnership Legatt and the captain have, becomes stronger and more apparent as the story unveils.

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

    before it was colonised by the Romans, and now England is bringing this terror to other nations. There were also concerns at the time, brought about by Lord Kelvin, that when the sun burnt out we would be plunged back into darkness - 'civilisation is a flicker between two darknesses' and humans have only been around a short time.

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

    mournful gloom and brooding gloom (page 31 and 33) to show that the light over London weren't clear and was only light over the Thames as that was linked with Imperialism more than London. The Frame Narrators point of view on Imperialism is given to us with the references to light, but after Marlow's yarn has been told his

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

    The Africans may have seen the modern bureaucratic Europe as a sterile and materialistic wasteland. Here we see Conrad prompting the reader to reassess his or her own opinions and interpretations of Africa.

  1. The Heart of Darkness Marlow's story of the Roman Conquest of Britain as an ...

    a pestilence."] When the Roman soldiers came to kill the British partisans, the partisans did not give in. They fought until the end. Marlow said they had the hearts of wild men. In Africa, when Marlow was on the ship, an African tribe jumped on the ship.

  2. Heart of darkness provides us with a definitive guide on what it means to ...

    Conrad uses images to symbolise civilisation, the image of the 'flabby white devil' or the pilgrims wearing pink pyjamas these sow that the white seem civilised but under the skin they are the same or worse than the natives they have no civilised .

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