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Summary of “Heart of Darkness” By Joseph Conrad

3 Mins read

Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness. The book describes Charles Marlow’s steamboat expedition up the Congo. The author’s life inspired the tale. Like Charles Marlow, he worked aboard a Belgian ivory trafficking vessel.

Three guys are on the ship Nellie in the river Themes. Charles Marlow is one. He recalls his visit to Africa and labels London and Europe the saddest locations on earth due to colonization’s horrors.

Story protagonist Charles Marlow. He’s ambitious, intelligent, philosophical, and friendly. As a sailor, he loves exploring and meeting new people. Charles is suspicious and inquiring about his surroundings.

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Analysis: Outpost

Charles joins “the Company,” a Brussels ivory trade firm. He’s sent to Congo as a steamboat captain.

At Outer Station, he sees the atrocities of the ivory trade. He sees weary Africans in shackles. He notices they’re treated like objects, not people. They’re against-their-will white servants. His observations amaze him.

Analysis: CSX

After checking out the Outer Station, he heads to the Central Station, where his team boat is waiting. At Central Station, he encounters the chilly General Manager. The GM abuses his servants worse than at Outer Station. He ignores their pain. He starves, overworks, and chains them.

The GM informs Marlow his boat is broken. Marlow’s heartbroken. He’s meant to carry supplies to Kurtz, the intelligent and business-savvy Inner Station manager. He exports the most ivory. And Marlow hears reports of Kurtz’s insanity owing to his proximity to locals and brutal labour techniques.

The Marlow repairs his boat since Kurtz and his people can’t survive without him. Marlow overhears the General Manager and his uncle, who arrives at Central Station with another expedition. The General Manager wants to hang Kurtz and his helper to eliminate his largest ivory trading competition. After that exchange, Marlow understands that his ship was sabotaged. Since the GM wants Kurtz dead, he intends to starve him. Marlow understands the GM is horrible.

Marlow meets Brickmaker in Central Station. He’s the GM’s loyalist. He cares exclusively about his career, fortune, and objectives. Like the General Manager, he regards Kurtz as a threat and wants him dead.

This degrading impression of the Brickmaker’s character paints him as a lowlife.

Analysis: Insider

Marlow’s ship is repaired. Marlow, a gang of cannibals, and the GM carry supplies to Kurtz. They proceed across a foggy river section. Natives shoot arrows at them from the riverbed. Before retreating, the invader’s murder one of the Africans on Marlow’s boat.

Marlow and his boat arrive at Inner Station and discover the Russian dealer. He’s a wanderer and fan of Kurtz’s jungle feats. He’s chatty and lively. The authors at MyAssignmentHelpAU are always available to provide you with Australian Assignment Help.

The Russians dismisses Marlow and others’ claims of Kurtz’s lunacy and barbaric ivory harvesting practices.  Marlow sees decapitated heads on spears outside the Russian’s home. He believes in Kurtz’s madness narrative.

Kurtz is dying at the station. He escapes off a stretcher and creeps back to the native camp. The Russian informs Marlow that Kurtz feels like a native and doesn’t want to return to Europe. He also says Kurtz instructed the locals to assault the steamboat so they’d assume he was dead. Marlow admits Kurtz is mad after watching all this, even if he’s a fantastic manager and brings the company a lot of money. It’s impossible to say what made Kurtz this, but it’s now part of his personality. Once ambitious, caring, bright, and intelligent, Marlow’s guy is now “empty at the center.”

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Homecoming

Marlow convinces Kurtz to visit Europe. He weakens on the way back. He gives Marlow his African documentation one day. Marlow is honoured to get these papers. Later, Kurtz dies.

The statement still sparks dispute; it may apply to tragedies he observed in uncivilized Africa or by European invaders who mistreated natives.

Marlow gives Kurtz’s writing to his fiancée when he returns. He pondered delivering them to a journalist or an individual claiming to be Kurtz’s brother, but he’s afraid they’d harm Kurtz’s career and reputation.

Epilogue

Three men end up aboard a boat. They glide down the Themes.

The Narrator, likely Joseph Conrad, deems England “the center of a vast darkness” The atrocities of European colonialism and barbarian imperialism reveal that the heart of evil is in England, not in the untamed forests.

Heart of Darkness shows European imperialism towards the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. It shows a terrible, corrupt, heartless society. It highlights people’s greed and ambition to ascend the career ladder while crushing everybody in their path, like the General Manager and the Brickmaker. Kurtz’s persona shows how European and African mentalities may drive a person insane.

The work is an outstanding portrayal of the author’s modern civilization and a criticism of sophisticated Europeans. The author concludes that white European conquerors were as harsh and cruel as they perceived Africans.

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