Jacob's Reviews > Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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's review
Apr 13, 12

bookshelves: literature, classic-fiction, allegory, africa-history
Read from April 10 to 13, 2012


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04/10/2012 page 20
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Jacob At the time of its writing, I would assume HoD was intended simply as a novel about a trek into the heart of Africa, the deep interior of the continent rife with tribal warfare and simplistic living, as noted by Marlow. In retrospect, however, the novel has become an indictment of racism, in that it displays in full force the ignorance of Europeans and the "savage" way (to use Marlow's word) in which they treated the indigenous population of Africa.

Thematically, the novel touched on various subjects nihilism, existentialism, racism, and morality. Even though it is only about 145 pages, it is dense reading as Marlow is a detailed narrator and often interjects moralistic musings about the savagery of Africans, and also commonly describes the wildlife on the riverbanks, which doesn't ever change- it's jungle up and back. The language used also got a bit dense itself. Conrad uses very dark and oppressive language in the novel to convey the idea that we truly step into the "Heart of Darkness" when we read his novel.

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