What does Heart of Darkness mean?

Joseph Conrad’s most read novella Heart of Darkness has double meaning in its title. One dictionary meaning is that the title refers to the interior of the Africa called Congo. Another hidden meaning is, the title stands for the darkness or the primitiveness that every person possesses in his or her mind and heart.

” Generally, ‘heart‘ in the phrase ‘heart of darkness‘ means ‘center’, where ‘darkness‘ symbolizes one of two things: evil, or the unknown. The literal heart of darkness is the African jungle, into which Marlow is venturing to find a mysterious coworker named Kurtz.

One may also ask, what does Heart of Darkness suggest about society? One of the major themes of Heart of Darkness is Europe’s imperialism over Africa. Though they are meant to represent the civilized society and the good, Marlow finds that they can still be equally barbaric. Through his journey, Marlow encounters scenes of torture, cruelty, and near-slavery.

In respect to this, why is Heart of Darkness important?

The three most important aspects of Heart of Darkness: Conrad intentionally made Heart of Darkness hard to read. He wanted the language of his novella to make the reader feel like they were fighting through the jungle, just like Marlow fought through the jungle in search of Kurtz.

What does Kurtz symbolize?

Kurtz symbolizes the far end of where greed can take you. Kurtz also represents the love of power the white colonizers have as well as the influence they have over the natives. Kurtz is the ultimate power at his Inner Station, and he sets himself up basically as the natives’ god, as far as ultimate influence goes.

What are the symbols in Heart of Darkness?

The most important metaphoric darkness is that revealed in Kurtz’s heart and symbolized by the decapitated heads of native men displayed like decorative knobs on his fence posts. There, they are “black, dried, sunken, with closed eyelids.” These heads and the grisly fence stand as enduring symbols of Kurtz’s depravity.

Why does Kurtz say the horror the horror?

And now for those famous final words: “The horror! The horror!” (3.43). Marlow interprets this for us, saying that these words are the moment Kurtz realizes exactly how depraved human nature is—that his inability to exert even a shred of self-control is the same darkness in every human heart.

Why does Marlow want Kurtz?

At first Marlow doesn’t really know what he should think about Kurtz. But he wants to know more about him, because Kurtz is for him a big secret and he wants to find out more about him, before he is making his own opinion about him. When Marlow has got more to do with the others he finds out more and more about Kurtz.

Why does Marlow go to Africa?

Expert Answers info Marlow wants to go to the Congo because he has always been obsessed with the river. When he was little, he used to peer at maps, and the Congo, which resembled a snake that had uncoiled itself, was particularly enticing to him.

What is Kurtz’s head like?

Kurtz is defined heavily by his obsession with collecting ivory. He is also described as being bald, as Marlow states that his head was “like a ball—an ivory ball.” It is clear that Kurtz is being made out to be a living, breathing symbol of ivory, which itself is a symbol of greed and

Where is the Nellie?

Summary: Part 1 At sundown, a pleasure ship called the Nellie lies anchored at the mouth of the Thames, waiting for the tide to go out. Five men relax on the deck of the ship: the Director of Companies, who is also the captain and host, the Lawyer, the Accountant, Marlow, and the unnamed Narrator.

What does black wool symbolize?

The color of the wool also has great meaning. While white represents all that is good, black represents what is bad and also death. The black wool foreshadows the rough journey that Marlow is about to make.

What is the main theme of Heart of Darkness?

The superficial themes of the novel are imperialism and cruelty of the European powers. However, the theme of the lack of truth lies at the heart of the text. All the European powers engaged in Africa are occupying their land and plundering resources while propagating it as a civilizing mission.

What genre is the heart of darkness?


What is the main conflict in Heart of Darkness?

major conflict · Both Marlow and Kurtz confront a conflict between their images of themselves as “civilized” Europeans and the temptation to abandon morality completely once they leave the context of European society.

What is Marlow’s job?

Plot Overview. Heart of Darkness centers around Marlow, an introspective sailor, and his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, reputed to be an idealistic man of great abilities. Marlow takes a job as a riverboat captain with the Company, a Belgian concern organized to trade in the Congo.

What is the darkness in Heart of Darkness?

The symbolic meaning of light and darkness play the central role in the novel Heart of Darkness. The very short and simple story of the novel is that Marlow, who thinks that he has possessed the light, sends his representative candidate Kurtz to give the light in the so- called dark place Africa in different ways.

What is the tone in Heart of Darkness?

As the characters move further into the interior, the tone becomes darker and more sinister. There is often a feeling of general apprehension and uneasiness at not knowing what’s coming. The main tone for the majority of the novel is darkness. Marlow often uses the word when he’s talking.

What is the structure of Heart of Darkness?

Conrad uses two structural forms in Heart of Darkness, a linear structure, Marlow’s journey towards Kurtz and a circular structure: the narrative begins on the Thames, it takes the reader to Brussels, Africa, back to Brussels and ends on the Thames.