Reaction to Heart of Darkness Essay

359 WordsMar 23, 20092 Pages
Heart of Darkness has a very simple plot; it is about the journey of Marlow and several other men who travel up the Congo River to meet a man named Kurtz. . While Marlow and the men travel up the river, they see how horribly the Europeans are treating the Africans. The simplicity of the plot help place extreme focus on the deep, troubling, and controversial meaning of the novella. When Kurtz dies, his last words were, “The horror! The horror!” His last words, like the plot, are very simplistic yet hold great importance. So what exactly is meant from this? Several things could be intended. The horror could refer to how Kurtz was not capable of controlling himself, the greed of the colonizers', or Europe’s devastation to the people of the Congo. “The horror” could also represent the evil deep within all people which is waiting to be unleashed. Kurtz seemingly exemplified this evil. So what exactly is a/the “Heart of Darkness”? It could be how the Europeans are attempting to civilize Africans, but are actually becoming “savages” themselves. It could also possibly be how Conrad viewed the continent of Africa, especially the Congo; as some primitive world that needs rescuing. Finally it could be the object in people, or “The Horror”, that is let loose in an environment that nurtures the dark, evil nature of all people. Said, in his essay, “Two Visions in Heart of Darkness”, shows how key features of the imperialist approach in the Congo unite in Heart of Darkness. According to Said, Heart of Darkness symbolizes Conrad’s own political beliefs about imperialism. Said also relates these imperialist ideas and how the endure to more modern times such as World War II, and “the United States’ clash with Iraq and Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait concerning oil…” Although a very interesting essay with many good points, it remains difficult to believe that Conrad’s only

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