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Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad
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How many themes are being encapsulated in so short a novel? Some themes present are imperialism, fear, death, good versus evil and so on, but what are some extraordinary or more relevant themes?

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There is an interest in morality in this book. Changing contexts offer changing moral codes as Marlow travels further up the river. So, that's another theme. 

Empathy is also a theme in Heart of Darkness as Marlow is challenged to continue to identify with Kurtz and then his intended as the story goes on. He is successful but pays a price for his empathy.

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Darkness vs. Light is a major theme. Africa was often thought of as the "Dark Continent" by white Europeans, and there are obvious racial overtones to the issue of darkness. But what is the source of the darkness? Is it the nature of Africa itself, which is portrayed throughout as sinister and foreboding, or is it the influence of Kurtz, and the European imperialism he represents? This theme is closely tied to some that you mention, but it is still, in my opinion, worth expanding on.

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