Essay questions heart of darkness

The waves encroach fairly evenly on the shore, and presently a few more feet of sand have been won. But an occasional wave thrusts up unexpectedly, much further than the others; even as far, say, as Kurtz and his Inner Station"- Albert J. The novel is divided up into three parts. To keep the download time lower, I have put each chapter on a separate page. This page is designed to run on a frames capable browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.

There is a no-frames option, however I recommend you use the frames if possible. The screen is divided into two frames. The larger top frame contains the text, while the lower small frame contains footnotes such as definitions when links in the text are followed.

This allows you to keep your place in the text. When you click on one of the chapter links above, you will be taken to a page with two frames, the larger top frame will contain the text of the chapter you chose. Within the text there are links which update the bottom frame. For example, if you click on the underlined word "estuary" in the text, the definition for estuary will appear in the bottom frame. The links in the text will either be to definitions, themes, or questions. Unless your browser is set to override the site settings, un-followed links will be black and underlined, while followed links will be gray and underlined.

To return to the home page, do not use the back button from your browser. At the bottom of the top frame is a link to return home.

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Within the text there are links to pages describing some of the themes and structure of Heart of Darkness. While most of themes can best be understood after reading the text, a few of them are more helpful if read in advance. This page links to all the theme pages: Themes and Structure of Heart of Darkness.

There is a page describing the life of Joseph Conrad: Life of the Author.

There are also pages for five of the more interesting and symbolic characters in Heart of Darkness:. When you have finished reading the novel, there is a page of questions that will help you study for possible essays on Heart of Darkness: Questions about the novel. Finally, there is a page listing outside resources for studying and reading Heart of Darkness. They are somewhat listed in order of relevance. There are several papers, lectures, web sites, and a radio adaptation among them. All texts and images used belong to their respective owners, and are reproduced here only for educational purposes.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this site, contact me, Coreen Csicseri, at: csicseri acsu. Conrad's father was esteemed as a translator of Shakespeare, as well as a poet and a man of letters in Poland, and Conrad's mother was a gentle, well-born lady with a keen mind but frail health. When Conrad was five, his father was arrested for allegedly taking part in revolutionary plots against the Russians and was exiled to Northern Russia; Conrad and his mother went with him.

His mother died from the hardships of prison life after three years; she was only thirty-four.

Heart of Darkness - Mr. Chilton's English

Conrad's father sent him back to his mother's brother for his education, and Conrad never saw him again. The poet-patriot lived only four more years. Conrad was eleven years old, but the emotional bond between him and his father was so strong that a deep melancholy settled within the boy; much of his writing as an adult is marked by a melancholy undercurrent.

Conrad received a good education in Cracow, Poland, and after a trip through Italy and Switzerland, he decided not to return to his father's homeland. Poland held no promise; already Conrad had suffered too much from the country's Russian landlords. Instead, the young lad decided on a career very different from what one might expect of a boy brought up in Poland; he chose the sea as his vocation. Conrad reached Marseilles in October of , when he was seventeen, and for the next twenty years, he sailed almost continually.

Not surprisingly, most of his novels and short stories have the sea as a background for the action ad as a symbolic parallel for their heroes' inner turbulence. In fact, most of Conrad's work concerns the sea. There is very little old-fashioned romantic interest in his novels. Part of this romantic void may be due to the fact that while Conrad was in Marseilles and only seventeen, he had his first love affair.

I. Introduction: A question of fidelity

I ended in disaster. For some time, Conrad told people that he had been wounded in a duel, but now it seems clear that he tried to commit suicide. Conrad left Marseilles in April of , when he was twenty-one, and it was then that he first saw England. He knew no English, but he signed on an English ship making voyages between Lowestoft and Newcastle. It was on that ship that he began to lean English. At twenty-four, Conrad was made the first mate of a ship that touched down in Singapore, and it was here that he learned about an incident that would later contribute to the plot of Lord Jim.

Then, four years later, while Conrad was aboard the Vidar , he met Jim Lingard, the sailor who would become the physical model for Lord Jim; in fact, all the men aboard the Vidar called Jim "Lord Jim. In , when Conrad was twenty-nine, he became a British subject, and in the same year, he wrote his first short story, "The Black Mate. This failure, however, did not stop him from continuing to write. During the next three years, in order to fill empty, boring hours while he was at sea, Conrad began his first novel, Almayer's Folly.


In addition, he continued writing diaries and journals when he transferred onto a Congo River steamer the following year, taking notes that would eventually become the basis for one of his masterpieces, Heart of Darkness. Conrad's health was weakened in Africa, and so he returned to England to recover his strength. Then in , when Conrad was thirty-seven, he returned to sea; he also completed Almayer's Folly. The novel appeared the following year, and Conrad left the sea. He married Jessie George, a woman seventeen years younger than he was. She was a woman with no literary or intellectual interests, but Conrad continued to write with intense, careful seriousness.

Heart of Darkness was first serialized in Blackwood's Magazine ; it appeared soon afterward as a single volume, and Conrad then turned his time to Lord Jim , his twelfth work of fiction.

Critical Analysis Of Heart Of Darkness English Literature Essay

He was no longer poor, and. From until his death in , he never wrote anything that equaled his early works. His great work was done. Personally, however, Conrad's life was full. He was recognized widely, and he enjoyed dressing the part of a dandy; it was something he had always enjoyed doing, and now he could financially afford to.

While one of the natives is tortured for allegedly causing the fire, Marlow is invited in the room of the station's brick-maker, a man who spent a year waiting for material to make bricks. Marlow gets the impression the man wants to pump him and is curious to know what kind of information he is after. Hanging on the wall is "a small sketch in oils, on a panel, representing a woman draped and blindfolded carrying a lighted torch" Conrad Marlow is fascinated with the sinister effect of the torchlight upon the woman's face, and is informed that Mr.

Kurtz made the painting in the station a year ago.

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The brick-maker calls Kurtz "'a prodigy'" and "'an emissary of pity, and science, and progress'", and feels Kurtz represents the "'higher intelligence, wide sympathies, a singleness of purpose'" needed for the cause Europe entrusts the Company with Conrad The man predicts Kurtz will rise in the hierarchy within two years and then makes the connection to Marlow: "'The same people who sent him specially also recommended you'" Conrad 39— Marlow is frustrated by the months it takes to perform the repairs, made all the slower by the lack of proper tools and replacement parts at the station.

During this time, he learns that Kurtz is far from admired but more or less resented mostly by the manager. Once underway, the journey up-river to Kurtz's station takes two months to the day. The steamboat stops briefly near an abandoned hut on the riverbank, where Marlow finds a pile of wood and a note indicating that the wood is for them and that they should proceed quickly but with caution as they near the Inner Station. In the morning the crew awakens to find that the boat is enveloped by a thick white fog. From the riverbank they hear a very loud cry, followed by a discordant clamour. A few hours later, as safe navigation becomes increasingly difficult, the steamboat is attacked with a barrage of small arrows from the forest. The helmsman is impaled by a spear and falls at Marlow's feet. Marlow sounds the steam whistle repeatedly, frightening the attackers and causing the shower of arrows to cease.