Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Author

Conrad, Joseph

Timeline

Conrad, Joseph was a Polish-British novelist and writer who wrote in the English language. He was born on 3rd December 1857 in Berdychiv, Ukraine and died on 3rd August 1924, in Bishopsbourne, United Kingdom.

Synopsis

The novel is about the journey of the narrator to the Congo where, on reaching he discovers how a good man can get completely corrupted with greed. Charles Marlow goes to Congo on an extraordinary journey on Nellie, a British ship. Marlow an agent of a Belgian ivory trading company narrates his story to three men aboard the ship. Marlow Heart of Darknesssigns and takes the voyage. Sitting in the corner are old women who give him the heebie-jeebies. Despite the hot weather a man wearing formal starched clothing and fancy pants meets him on reaching Africa, which Marlow finds very weird. He realizes that many of the African people are not inhuman, die from brutal conditions and are kept as slaves.

Heart of Darkness : Marlow hears about a powerful figure, a prisoner, loathed and idolized by everyone and revered as God by people living further down the Congo. The vandalized steamship with cannibals aboard eating hippo meat, delays him on his way to meet Kurtz. On the way the ship stops to pick wood, due to a mysterious fog bank and is also struck by arrows, with a spear also impaling the helmsman. On arriving at Kurtz’s camp, Marlow sees, severed heads decorated on posts. Marlow is informed how Kurtz is God, by a weird Russian in clothing of a clown. The camp natives want to attack Marlow’s ship but the weak and ill Kurtz stops them and tries crawling away. However after he agrees he is brought back to the mouth of the Congo. Kurtz develops fever, goes blind and hands over instructions and papers to Marlow to be handed over to the Company. He utters the words ‘The horror!’ ‘The horror!’ before dying after which even Marlow falls sick. The disillusioned Marlow returns to Europe with both Europe and ‘The Company’. He does not hand over the papers Kurtz had given and instead meets Kurtz fiancée from Belgium and give a few letters of Kurtz. When she asks Marlow what were Kurtz last words, he said that he uttered her name which was much sweeter that saying ‘The horror!’ ‘The horror!’

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Heart of Darkness