Conrad-Heart of Darkness
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Conrad-Heart of Darkness

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    Conrad-Heart of Darkness Conrad-Heart of Darkness Presentation Transcript

    • Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
    • Entering Africa
      • P. 8
      • Morituri te salutant..We who are about to die, salute you. Said by the Roman gladiators as they passed by the emperor on their way to battle.
    • Devils (13)
      • Former devils:
        • Described as: strong, lusty, red-eyed
        • Devils of violence, greed, and desire
      • Current devils:
        • Described as: flabby, pretending, weak-eyed
        • Devils of rapacious and pitiless folly
        • Reappears on p. 17
    • Kurtz
      • The painting: p.21
      • Moving up the ranks: p. 22-23
      • Kurtz’s mission: p.29
    • Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
      • Born in Polish Ukraine
      • Age 16: joined the French merchant marine
      • Age 21: Joined the British merchant naviy. His naval experiences provided material for his writing and he traveled widely in the colonies held by the British and other European empires.
    • Conrad as early modernist
      • The novelist T.E. Lawrence called him “a giant of the subjective.”
      • “ Droll thing life is—that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes to late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets.” - Conrad
    • Victorian vs. Modernist
      • Generally unquestioning attitude toward imperialism  Victorianism
      • Critiquing imperialism  Modernism
    • Structure of the novel
      • Narrator within narrator; story w/in a story
      • Marlow is the secondary narrator
      • The narrator is an unnamed member of the crew; Marlow tells his story to this unnamed “I”
      • Device has been used by many other writers:
      • Mary Shelley in Frankenstein
      • Samuel Taylor Coleridge in “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
    • Story within a story
      • The external story frames parallels to a great degree the internal story
        • Two rivers:
          • Thames and Congo
        • Two colonial histories:
          • Colonization of England by invading Romans
          • Colonization of Africa by the Belgians and British
    • Rives Thames
      • “…the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames.”
    • Sir John Franklin
      • Explorer seeking the chart of the Northwest Passage
      • Ships were the Erebus and the Terror
      • Expedition disappeared; now we know they died of starvation and scurvy.
    • Narrative within a narrative
      • Effect of multiple narrators is to create what the African author and literary critic Chnua Achebe calls a “cordon sanitaire”: a quarantine border that keeps a sanitary distance between the ethically and…
    • “Darkness was here yesterday”
      • Savagery
      • Wilderness
      • Forest  jungle  hearts of men
      • Incomprehensible= Detestable
      • Incomprehensible
    • Reading Conrad
      • Two opposing views of Conrad:
        • Conrad endorses the “civilizing mission” of imperialism. Narrator-Marlow=Conrad
        • Conrad critiques the blindness and cruelty of colonial practices. Narrator-Marlow, is an ironic commentator who represents the psychology of the imperial nature.
    • Charges against the novel
      • Racist
      • Sexist
      • Imperialist
    • 1975: Chinua Achebe describes Conrad as “a bloody racist”
      • Achebe’s charge comes in the midst of a shift in models of literary criticism:
        • The old “new criticism”: the text as a whole in itself
        • The new “new criticism”: the text as a product of social forces and reflective of those forces.