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Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

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1. Critics have pointed out that Marlow's journey is a descent to the underworld, similar to Dante's in The Divine Comedy. Explain the critics' position.

2. Watch the film Apocalypse, Now! and compare it to the novella. Why is Vietnam an appropriate setting instead of Africa?

3. List all the uses of light and dark or black and white imagery, and explain how they develop the themes of the novella.

4. Discuss how the novel's physical settings reflect the psychological landscape of the characters. Cite examples from the text.

5. Discuss the effect of having an unknown third person tell Marlow's story. Is the story about Kurtz, Marlow, or someone else?

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