Thoughts about Heart of Darkness | Teen Ink

Thoughts about Heart of Darkness

January 8, 2019
By Figaro BRONZE, Zhejiang Hangzhou, Other
Figaro BRONZE, Zhejiang Hangzhou, Other
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Recently, I just read a novel called Heart of Darkness, which was written by Joseph Conrad. However, this book has led me into many thoughts.

         The story is told by the first person view of Charlie Marlow, one of the main characters. Captain Marlow is designated to find the company’s lost trade representative, Mr. Kurtz. But when they actually find him, they realize that surprisingly Mr. Kurtz is not like what they had expected. He had become the ruler, the god of aborigines. He uses his power to dominate the people in this land, and step by step, walks into insanity. His mind has become filled with thoughts of money and domination; he thinks that everything on earth belongs to him. However, Mr. Kurtz eventually dies in the torment of great fear.

       Joseph Conrad, whose book is famous for its tragedy and impressionism is the writer of Heart of Darkness. He was first born in Poland but ran to France later at the age of seventeen where he started his life as a sailor. When he worked on an England ship, he could only read six English words. In the year of 1886, he moved to Great Britain and became a ship captain. Only four years after, he sailed to Africa, which is the background of this story.

              In the novel, “darkness” is the main theme. Echoing the title, “darkness” not only describes the dark lighting in African forests and the mysteriousness of Africa, but also reveals the dark hearts of humanity which were contaminated by money and power in the late Victorian Era. During this period of history, the Industrial Revolution brought economic growth to the country and the whole world. Under this background, the novel shows the theme of people losing their self-control in the midst of this newfound prosperity. 

         Heart of Darkness is a very memorable book. The words Mr. Kurtz used to discriminate blacks in his fever to make money struck out the most: “While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all fours towards the river to drink,” “Well, you know, that was the worst of it—this suspicion of their not being inhuman.” These words show he believes that blacks are people who are uncivilized and deeply wants to bring them into the “modern world.” “All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz; and by I learned that, most appropriately, the international society for the suppression of savage customs had entrusted him with the making of a report for its future guidance. And he had written it, too…but this must have been before his—let us say—nerves, went wrong.” The sad ending of Mr. Kurtz was also made by the Europeans.

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