Conrad-Heart of Darkness


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Conrad-Heart of Darkness

  1. 1. Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  2. 2. Entering Africa <ul><li>P. 8 </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Devils (13) <ul><li>Former devils: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Described as: strong, lusty, red-eyed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Devils of violence, greed, and desire </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current devils: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Described as: flabby, pretending, weak-eyed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Devils of rapacious and pitiless folly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reappears on p. 17 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Kurtz <ul><li>The painting: p.21 </li></ul><ul><li>Moving up the ranks: p. 22-23 </li></ul><ul><li>Kurtz’s mission: p.29 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski <ul><li>Born in Polish Ukraine </li></ul><ul><li>Age 16: joined the French merchant marine </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Conrad as early modernist <ul><li>The novelist T.E. Lawrence called him “a giant of the subjective.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Victorian vs. Modernist <ul><li>Generally unquestioning attitude toward imperialism  Victorianism </li></ul><ul><li>Critiquing imperialism  Modernism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Structure of the novel <ul><li>Narrator within narrator; story w/in a story </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow is the secondary narrator </li></ul><ul><li>The narrator is an unnamed member of the crew; Marlow tells his story to this unnamed “I” </li></ul><ul><li>Device has been used by many other writers: </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Shelley in Frankenstein </li></ul><ul><li>Samuel Taylor Coleridge in “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Story within a story <ul><li>The external story frames parallels to a great degree the internal story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two rivers: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thames and Congo </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two colonial histories: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colonization of England by invading Romans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colonization of Africa by the Belgians and British </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Rives Thames <ul><li>“…the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sir John Franklin <ul><li>Explorer seeking the chart of the Northwest Passage </li></ul><ul><li>Ships were the Erebus and the Terror </li></ul><ul><li>Expedition disappeared; now we know they died of starvation and scurvy. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Narrative within a narrative <ul><li>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… </li></ul>
  13. 13. “Darkness was here yesterday” <ul><li>Savagery </li></ul><ul><li>Wilderness </li></ul><ul><li>Forest  jungle  hearts of men </li></ul><ul><li>Incomprehensible= Detestable </li></ul><ul><li>Incomprehensible </li></ul>
  14. 14. Reading Conrad <ul><li>Two opposing views of Conrad: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conrad endorses the “civilizing mission” of imperialism. Narrator-Marlow=Conrad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conrad critiques the blindness and cruelty of colonial practices. Narrator-Marlow, is an ironic commentator who represents the psychology of the imperial nature. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Charges against the novel <ul><li>Racist </li></ul><ul><li>Sexist </li></ul><ul><li>Imperialist </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1975: Chinua Achebe describes Conrad as “a bloody racist” <ul><li>Achebe’s charge comes in the midst of a shift in models of literary criticism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The old “new criticism”: the text as a whole in itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The new “new criticism”: the text as a product of social forces and reflective of those forces. </li></ul></ul>