Joseph Conrad, Heart of darkness: analysis

riassunto in inglese della vita di Joseph Conrad e analisi della sua opera "Heart of darkness" (Cuore di tenebra) (3 pagine formato doc)

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Cuore di tenebra” di Joseph Conrad - Joseph Conrad is one of the most famous writers who dealed with the agressiveness, seen as a man’s natural instinct, and the racism.

His real name is Jòref Teodor Konrad Naclez Korzeniowski. He was born in 1857 in the Ukraine, the son of Polish noble parents, both of whom died when he was twelve. He lived for some years with a maternal uncle in France. In 1874, because of his dream to travel on the sea, he went to Marseilles and joined a French merchant ship. After four years he joined the British Merchant Navy. He learned the British language and sailed all over the world, especially to the Far East. In 1886 he took the Master Mariner’s Certificate and in 1890 he went up the River Congo, an experience that disturbed him deeply. In 1895 he retired from the sea and married Jesse George. In the same year he published his first novel: “Almayer’s Folly”. He settled in the south-east of England where he devoted himself to writing until his death in 1924.

Cuore di tenebra: riassunto in italiano


He wrote three great novels, that are “Nostromo”, “The Secret Agent”, “Under Western Eyes”, and short stories (or novellas) like “Heart of Darkness”. However, his works didn’t bring financial success.
Because of his life at sea, most of his works deal with adventures and exotic countries but he’s not a romantic writer. In fact he doesn’t have a positive opinion about man’s life: his characters have to fight both with hostile external forces and their unstable inner nature. The result is a suffering and uncertain existence. So, pessimism pervades much of Conrad’s fiction together with a careful study of the human soul and its psychological individualism. For these reasons, we can say that Conrad is one of the modern novelist, even if his style is still traditional. In his works he tries to underline the little importance and the little validity of social values and conventions in a different situation from our society like in exotic foreign places, where man puts in evidence his more brutal and instinctive aspects. Conrad mostly uses the first-person narrator to represent human consciousness convincingly and vividly.

Heart of darkness di Conrad: analisi


Besides, he wants to show how each person interprets the reality in a different way and that everybody has an own mentality behind an external facade. So, the person who tells the story generally lives in the novel and doesn’t express Conrad’s point of view. Conrad often uses a “double character”: he creates two characters who are different but at the same time similar. In fact one could represent the dark and unconsious side of the other (for example Kurtz is what Marlow can have become in different situations). Conrad gives a great importance also to details and exactness, influenced by Flaubert’s style.

Joseph Conrad: biografia breve


HEART OF DARKNESS. “Heart of Darkness” is considered one of Conrad’s masterpieces, based on his personal experience. He sailed up the River Congo in 1890 and this travel helped him to know his own personality in a better way and after that he became pessimistic about the nature of the “civilised” man.
PLOT. The story is set at the end of the 19th century and it’s told by Marlow, a mariner who is waiting, with other men, to left London on a boat called “Nellie”. He talks about his travel in the Congo with a Belgian company for the ivory trade. Once in Africa, at the Company station near the coast, he’s horrified by the cynicism and the cruelty of the colonists and disappointed by their inefficiency. Company’s best agent, Kurtz, who stays in the heart of the continent, seems to be seriously ill and so Marlow has to bring him back to civilization.


Heart of darkness: analisi dei personaggi