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GCSE: Joseph Conrad

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

    the process, and he begins to question the ultimate questions, such as what is the point of our existence and why do we work? Eventually, his faith in goodness in the world pulls him through, while Kurtz symbolically survives in the Heart of Darkness, without a care for the suffering or evil of others. During this story, the reader is taken on two very different journeys. We are firstly taken on Marlow's physical journey down the Congo and through the jungle.

    • Word count: 5009
  2. Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles Dickens - In what ways do they reflect the times in which they were written and the tastes of the particular audience?

    He is changed forever from then on and progresses as a successful surgeon in helping people. "The Darkness Out There" and "The Black Veil" both have plots which exploit features of horror and mystery. Both have the spooky settings: "Packers End" and "Walworth", a death either past or present in the story, a concealed truth and a sinister character "Mrs Rutter" and the woman in the "black veil". All these features add to the mystery and excitement of both texts which keep its audience reading.

    • Word count: 3443
  3. The perfection of a short story lies in the symbiosis between content and form. Stylistic devices - especially imagery - contribute to the effect of the story

    2 Stylistic Devices: Imagery The aims and purposes of stylistic devices are manifold. Stylistic devices are a way of expression, which give the author the possibility to use language beyond syntax, in order to make a tremendous impact on the reader. Thus, the artistic use of language is relevant to achieve the desired effect on the reader. One of those needful stylistic devices is imagery, which is "a rather vague critical term covering those uses of language in a literary work that evoke sense-impressions by literal or figurative reference to perceptible or 'concrete' objects, scenes, actions, or states, as distinct from the language of abstract argument or exposition.

    • Word count: 3933
  4. Explore the themes of justace and things not being as they seem in The three Strangers by Thomas Hardy and The Darkness out there by Penelope Lively

    In 'The Darkness Out There' we assume it is set in the 1960's because the story is telling the tale of an old lady Mrs Rutter, who is talking about her past (about 25years before) and there is the German pilot that had been shot down. The story is set around a wood called Packers End, but it is also set around a cottage that lies next to Packers End. The only other similarity in the two stories is that they are both set around a cottage otherwise there seem to be no other similarities between the stories.

    • Word count: 3000

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare Kurtz's African woman to "his Intended" and show how this contrast highlights the central theme of the novel: Darkness and Light in Heat of DarknessIn Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness

    "In conclusion, Heart of Darkness is a mentally disturbing tale that delves deep into the human condition and its dark origins. Conrad develops concepts of darkness and light, and shows with linkage to the theme of appearance and reality how they can be confused. Two symbols represent these abstract ideas and concepts. These symbols are the two women associated with Kurtz: "His Intended" and the African mistress. The contrast between them differs not from the contrast between Europe and Africa. The two women portray, through the way they live, what is the appearance and reality of the human condition. All appearance does, in most cases and this one, is hide the reality. The reality is illustrated directly by the contrast between the two women. In fact, once Marlow penetrates the façade that the light of civilisation has placed over Kurtz's Intended, all he finds is darkness. It is this darkness that is both common to the Intended and the mistress, it is the darkness that unites them as human beings. It is the "Heart of Darkness." 1 Taken from the Introduction to the school text - Youth, Heart of Darkness and the End of the Tether"

  • To what extent do I agree with Chinua Achebe's assertionthat Joseph Conrad was 'a bloody racist'.

    "I have shown that Conrad and Marlow are one and the same and have been led to the conclusion through close reading of the opening of heart of darkness that Conrad is not, as Chinua Achebe states, 'a bloody racist'. In fact I believe the opposite statemen could be made - "Conrad was a minority voice speaking out against racism through his character Marlow in a time where racism was rife". I believe I am right because the evidence against Conrad is scarce and what little textual evidence there is can mostly be put down to ignorance which in my opinion can be let go, due to the fact that his overall message is an anti-racist one. I feel people who think that Joseph Conrad is racist based on Heart of darkness is wrong because of the reasons stated."

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

    "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."

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