Heart of Darkness
About ‘Heart Of Darkness’ Book
Colonialism and its effects are widespread worldwide, especially in Africa. However, outside powers stepped in to bring reforms and work to improve their livelihood. But the reality is quite the opposite. Heart of Darkness also depicts and pictures the dark era of colonialism and how it deprived the people of their basic rights.
The book was written by Joseph Conrad, a Polish English novelist. The novel is considered a critique of European colonialism and its dark side. Yet, it received criticism from known African writers like Achebe, who said the novelist lacks an understanding of the natives. He criticizes Conrad for calling the natives savages.
It is translated into many languages. Also, if you ask what is one reason Heart Of Darkness has been inducted into the 100 best novels list, the answer is that this novella provides us with a view of how things look and how they are in reality.
Heart of Darkness protagonist Charles Marlow was fond of boats and fascinated by blank spaces. He often saw such spaces on the map, particularly on the African River as a child as a captain in an Ivory trading company in Brussels. He makes his way to the company’s office in Congo, Africa.
Marlow was horrified by seeing the condition of railway workers working to lay down the line and dying ill with the disease. He met with the company’s chief accountant, who told him about Mr. Kurtz, a very respectable man now severely ill. Mr. Marlow accompanies some men to start their journey towards Mr. Kurtz’s station.
On the way, Marlow learns that Mr. Kurtz is not respected but resented, and arrows attack them while crossing a thick foggy part of the river. Marlow blows the horn or whistle of the boat to frighten them and finally reaches the Kurtz station.
He found that the natives worship Mr. Kurtz, and they obey him too, but their mental and physical health of Mr. Kurtz is not good. He also learned that the natives are not as bad as the company staff portrays them. Later he took Mr. Kurtz with him, but he died along the way and handed important documents about the company’s suspicious activities.
Marlow also got very sick while returning to Europe; he handed over the documents to an investigative journalist and Kurtz’s letter to his fiance. Heart Of Darkness book digs into Marlow’s views about the civilized world changed after returning. He regards them as embittered and contemptuous.
Heart Of Darkness postcolonial critics believe that it is a racist novel. But in actuality, it is not. The author only shows the condition of nameless characters of Africa who are dying of a disease and are worshipping evil. Hopefully, this Heart of darkness book summary will have helped you in getting a clear picture of the story and help you write the essay!
Heart of Darkness Characters:
The main characters in the Heart Of Darkness are as follows:
● Marlow: He is the novel’s protagonist and an amazing storyteller. He has seen enough of the world that makes him realize the white men’s imperialism and his fellow European prejudices.
● Kurtz: Mr. Kurtz is the chief of the inner station. He is a very able man with many skills and abilities. He is a painter and a musician with a charismatic personality and a way of influencing people.
He is a trailblazer who doesn’t want to obey the hypocritical policies of colonialism. It is the main reason why he was disbanded by the company and became the reason for his death. He was also deeply respected by the natives, and he often talked about them in his letter to the company as a threat.
● General Manager: He is the chief agent of the central station. He retains his position due to the company’s constitution, which allows him to outlive his competition. This very reason also allows him to keep the control in his own hands.
● Brickmaker: He is regarded as a favorite spy фе the central station; he never made any brick but waited for the essential elements, which were never delivered.
● Cannibals: There are the native Africans that are hired for the steamer; they seem well composed, and the leader is also intelligent and capable.
Heart of Darkness Quotes:
Here are some thoughtful quotes from the book:
● “We live as we dream–alone….”
● “It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.”
● “Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.”
● “We live as we dream – alone. While the dream disappears, the life continues painfully.”
● “The mind of man is capable of anything.”
● “But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad.”
● “We live in the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
● “Like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker.”
● “The mind of man is capable of anything–because everything is in it, all the past as well as the future.”
Essay Structure on Heart of Darkness:
When writing an essay on this novel, you must have the proper information, ideas, material, and a solid topic. Also, Joseph Conrad heart of darkness summary can provide you with all the required data or information.
Remember that all can fall apart if not properly put. So, essay structure is equally important as other elements of the essay. The essay structure remains the same for all types of essays, and here is a brief on how to compose the best essay on Heart of Darkness.
The introduction to the Charlie Marlow heart of darkness essay starts with a brief that includes many thought-provoking or hook sentences. It also provides an overview of your argument, and finally, the main crux and the center point of your essay are described in the thesis statement.
The thesis statement reflects the main argument and includes relevant information about the topic. Readers and audience also get an idea about the argument and your standing on the topic; any confusing stance or statement harms the legitimacy of your thesis statement.
If you disagree with the topic and build your rhetoric gradually around it, avoid mentioning it at the start readers may find it odd and lose interest in reading it further.
You can divide the essay body into three or more paragraphs according to your need and explanation. First, build the narrative, explain the topic in the first paragraph, start the second paragraph by explaining your position, and then build rhetoric of suffering in crime and punishment.
Use the information from the internet after doing proper research and mentioning the reference; use citations to back your arguments; it increases the credibility of your essay. Keep the information relevant to the topic; avoid using unnecessary information, data, or facts.
The last paragraph uses your closing arguments to keep the audience engaged and compel them to read further to the conclusion for the final verdict and your topic findings.
The conclusion is the last section of your essay, yet it is the most important as it contains your final thoughts. Start the conclusion by quoting the thesis statement or its elements, explain them briefly, and finally give your verdict.
Use open statements in your conclusion; this will provide food of thought for the audience and compel them to think. Follow the essay format and align all the information accordingly.
Tips to consider while writing an Essay about Heart of Darkness:
Academic writing is not an essay task, especially when it is written in a particular book. Similarly, the essay on the Heart of darkness requires some tips and advice that help the students to write an effective piece on it.
Read the Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad summary and follow the tips while writing an essay on Heart of Dreams:
Read the Book Thoroughly:
The first and most effective step that one needs to be followed is to read the book properly. It helps clear your concepts, provides you with an overview, and helps you understand what is written in the book. It helps later when gathering relevant information, selecting the topic, and providing ideas for a broader perspective.
Suppose you rely on outside resources and neglect this very fundamental requirement. In that case, you must be very selective about the information you use in your essay and ensure that all the information is authentic, verified, and credible.
Find a Compelling Topic:
Your essay topic is the first thing that gets noticed by the readers or audience; if it is compelling, it successfully gains the attention, and they will start reading it. Heart of Darkness explains the flaws and effects of imperialism that are kept hidden under the blanket of Prejudice, Power, Greed, and Authoritarianism.
Examples of Good Essay Topics on Heart of Darkness:
Create the Outline:
Outlining is always playing a crucial role in time, information, and data management. You can enlist all the gathered data or information and then put them in a prioritized manner and place them in their relevant spots. It also helps to avoid using irrelevant information.
Write the Thesis Statement:
Heart of darkness unfolds the dark side of colonialism; it affects and is presented to the general public. In reality, it exercises cruelty, greed, and authoritarianism, destroys society on a socioeconomics level, and deprives people of their basic rights and needs.
Include a lesson or Moral:
Joseph Conrad, in his novella, uses his storytelling to throw some light on the imperialism that is often neglected in modern societies due to a lack of proper information. The writer also shows the consensus among the general public and invested interest at the personal or state level. However, he uses a strong storyline to tell his readers about the horror side of the picture.
The natives were deprived of their resources but also were treated like animals, there were minimum concerns about their lives, and the imperialists were more concerned about their yield. Moreover, if one of their captains refuses to fall into their hypocritical traps, they try their best to remove him from their path.
The moral or lesson we get from it is to raise your voices or take a stand against colonialism and factors or elements that flourish it.
Conclusion: Proofread your Work:
For writing an effective conclusion, keep the concluding statements open; it provokes the thinking process in the mind of readers and broader their minds. You can extract the thesis statement while starting it, explain your argument, and give your final thoughts.
Last but not least, after finishing your essay, proofread it, look for any errors or grammatical mistakes, correct them and check your essay structure and format. Also, in case you need professional assistance, we are here to assist you in every aspect!
Frequently Asked Questions
● What is the main point of Heart of Darkness?
Heart of Darkness highlights and discusses the effects and causes of imperialism in a unique way. The writer uses storytelling techniques to dissect the root causes and their beneficiaries, keeping readers interested until the end!
● Is Heart of Darkness a hard read?
The writer uses his storytelling approach and makes it a hard read by trying to give the readers the same experience as Marlow going through the river to find Kurtz. Undoubtedly, this book is a bit dense and difficult to read. It is why the readers get failed to concentrate while reading.
● Is Heart of Darkness a true story?
Yes, the novel is based on true events and journeys the writer took in Congo during the rule of King Leopold II of Belgium. However, it is classified as fiction as the story’s characters are not real, and the writer fabricates the various events described in the novel!
● What is the plot of Heart of Darkness?
The story revolves around Marlow, an enthusiast captain who went on a journey in Africa to meet Kurtz, a respected man with an amazing personality who starts living with the natives. Also, Marlow starts the job as a riverboat captain.