Helynne's Reviews > Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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Jun 30, 09

Read in June, 1984

The rhythm of Conrad's prose virtually pulsates with the creepiness of the societies of darkest Africa where a young Englishman has been sent to dispatch a fellow countryman who has gone mad with the illusion of his supposed power among native Africans and began a homocidal reign of terror. This is not the easiest novel to read, comprehend, and discuss, but it is a fascinating psychological study of megliomania, insanity, and its threatening effect not just on a few key players, but potentially upon anyone.

Francis Ford Coppola later made a Vietnam War movie, Apocalypse Now, that was a modernization of Heart of Darkness. (An Army officer is sent up the river from Vietnam to Cambodia to "terminate with extreme prejudice" a fellow officer who has mentally snapped and set up his own terrorist kingdom in the remote jungle). Although this film took a lot of flack from critics, I thought it was a creative and courageous attempt to reiterate the theme of a cryptic novel, and to once again testify to the idea not only that evil can burst forth in some very egregious ways, but also that even the worst evil might not be buried very deeply in the psyches of each one of us human beings.
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