Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness book cover
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Examine how Marlows journey in Conrad's Heart of Darkness can be seen as a journey into the darkness of the heart of man and, at the same time, a journey into the horrors of imperialism.

Marlow's journey in Heart of Darkness can be seen as a journey into the dark heart of man because of the brutality and violence that Marlow finds in the Belgian Congo. Specifically, the darkness is the European colonization of the continent and how they treat the natives. The Belgian Congo was particularly notable for the cruelty with which the natives were treated, which included brutal beatings and chopping off hands.

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Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, first published in 1899, is among the most widely read and discussed of great books. A quick glance at the critical literature shows readings of the book from nearly every major school of thought, ranging from Marxist to postcolonial to feminist. This is partly because of the many levels of the book. It is, of course, a literal journey that the protagonist finds himself ondown the Congo River in search of the enigmatic Kurtzbut it is far from an ordinary journey. Marlow is journeying through the past (as Africa is thought to be the cradle of civilization) through himself (as the journey...

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