Why do we still study Heart of Darkness? Heart of Darkness Is a novella written by Joseph Conrad In 1899. It is still studied today as It Is considered an exemplary moral text. It explores complex moral Issues which are challenging for contemporary youths and demonstrates the effect that isolation can have on a person. Also, It reveals the nature of colonialism In Africa In the late nineteenth century making it significant from a historical and political perspective. Heart of Darkness is studied for language purposes and because it is simply a good story.
Heart of Darkness is still studied as it is morally educational and this is illustrated by Concord’s portrayal of Colonialism. Europeans arrived in Africa with the view that they were racially superior and that it was their moral duty to civilize “ignorant millions. ” A consequence of colonialism is man’s lust for power and his capacity for evil. The land was devastated by repeated blasting and the natives were referred to as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’. They were chained to each other, overworked, and starved. Many were left to die Like animals. Marrow described the Loaded Expedition as “sordid buccaneers. Their only Intent was to take the Ivory from the land “with no more moral purpose. ” Marrow sees the Expedition as a “merry dance of death and trade. ” The Europeans Justify their ruthless exploitation of the natives with claims of ‘enlightening’ them. However, civilization has brought ‘darkness’. The denial of the Africans’ traditional lifestyle and culture is a form of racial prejudice. Hence, Heart of Darkness is still studied today as it provides knowledge of the period of colonialism which is perceived as being politically and historically dark.
Contemporary society feels moral outrage with the exploitation and racial prejudice the natives were subjected to. We still study Heart of Darkness because It shows how Isolation can change a person and affect their sense of morality. The character of Kurt demonstrates this very well. Kurt was a product of a cultured European society and was held in high esteem. When placed in a primitive society Kurt abandons his European morals and standards of behavior. Kurt had meant to turn his station into a ‘beacon on the dad towards better things’ but his greed for ivory corrupted him.
Kurt established himself as a ‘god’ with the natives and participated in ‘unspeakable rites’. He went on brutal raids in the surrounding territory in search of ivory. The fence posts around his station were adorned with severed heads. In Quartz’s report on the ‘Suppression of Savage Customs’, he wrote the postscript ‘Exterminate all the brutes! ‘ Kurt also abandoned his ‘Intended’ for a native. Marrow said of Kurt, ‘Everything belonged to him… The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness lamed him for their own,’ Kurt seemed to redeem himself upon his deathbed, his last words being The horror!
The horror! ‘ Quartz’s nature shows the destructive nature beneath the appearance of order. In contrast, Marrow feels very isolated, saying “We Heart of Darkness is still studied today as it highlights how a person can become isolated from their morality and principles when removed from civilized society. Another reason we study Heart of Darkness is because it explores complex moral Issues which are challenging for contemporary youths. Heart of Darkness reveals Marrows struggle to maintain his sense of morality.
On his Journey Marrow encounters the darkness of the wilderness, the darkness of colonization and the darkness within every man. ‘If anybody ever struggled with a soul, Marrow states, ‘l am the man’. Marrow becomes fascinated by Kurt; a mixture of admiration and contempt. Marrow tries to get as close to Kurt as he can – both physically and emotionally. His discoveries and contemplation about Kurt force him to explore his own sense of right and wrong, and expand his tolerance for evil. He begins questioning the nature of good and evil by doubting his crews decency and Nondrying about Quartz’s integrity.
Eventually Marrow comes to understand Quartz’s degradation as he too felt drawn in by the darkness; however Marrow is able to restrain himself. Marrow is a changed man by the end of the Journey. He learns that colonialism has a dark side and that ‘The mind of man is capable of anything. ‘ Introit the restrictions of civilized society to keep man in check, he must rely on his conscience or give in to the evil within himself. Marrow also states he “can’t bear a ii. ” Despite this Marrow lies to Quartz’s fiance to spare her the heartache of the truth. He reader then has to Judge the morality of this action. Hence, Heart of Darkness is still studied because it challenges the reader to explore and understand complex moral issues and to make Judgments on those issues. Heart of Darkness is also studied today because it is an excellent educational tool in terms of language. It is an example of British Modernist literature. The narrative involves a hero on a quest which is illustrated effectively through the use of textual theatres, in particular, imagery.
For example, Marrow describes the river as an immense snake uncoiled’. Conrad also uses an oxymoron between heart and darkness, Juxtaposition, irony and satire. Marrow refers to the traders as ‘pilgrims’. Concord’s claims as a Modernist are supported by his melancholy at the human condition, inconclusive ending and his ethical challenge to Victorian views of natural balance, God’s Grace and progress as a virtue. Conrad uses both authoritative and seductive modes to tell his story and his descriptions operate on naturalistic and Hitachi levels.
The dense adjectival prose helps create the oppressive and congested landscape and the tonal qualities of foreboding provide the reader with a feeling that something bad is going to happen. Conrad also uses a mixture of light and dark to signify a story of morality. Consequently, Heart of Darkness is still studied today for the language used and the effect it has on us. Finally, we still study the Heart of Darkness because it is a good story. It is an epic Reunion full of suspense and mystery. The insinuating tone gives the reader an
Reunion as well as the physical one. Thus, Heart of Darkness is still studied today for the pleasure some readers derive from it. In conclusion, Heart of Darkness is still studied today as it explores major ethical dilemmas and challenges values. We are given insight into the nature of colonialism and the affect of isolation on an individual’s sense of morality. The reader is challenged to self-examine and Judge morality. The novella is still studied for its use of language and the effect it has on us, as well as for the simple pleasure of reading a good tale.