⌛ Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness
New York: Simon and Essay About City Planning. Conrad's Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness funeral took place amid great crowds. Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness resources about Joseph Catching Fire Character Analysis. To some extent, also, I was influenced by considerations of our national honor, so that it should Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness be said that Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness of us had exploited the affection, which Konrad undoubtedly enjoyed, of all those with whom he came into contact Research in African Literatures. Analysis Of Joseph Conrads Heart Of Darkness page right from th[e] first one testifies that writing was not something he took up for amusement or to pass time.
Heart of Darkness - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
In this, Conrad in his own way followed the example of Gustave Flaubert , notorious for searching days on end for le mot juste —for the right word to render the "essence of the matter. As a rule it is easier both to swear and to analyze dispassionately in an acquired language. In , aged 36, Conrad reluctantly gave up the sea, partly because of poor health, partly due to unavailability of ships, and partly because he had become so fascinated with writing that he had decided on a literary career. Almayer's Folly , set on the east coast of Borneo , was published in Its appearance marked his first use of the pen name "Joseph Conrad"; "Konrad" was, of course, the third of his Polish given names , but his use of it—in the anglicised version, "Conrad"—may also have been an homage to the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz 's patriotic narrative poem, Konrad Wallenrod.
Edward Garnett , a young publisher's reader and literary critic who would play one of the chief supporting roles in Conrad's literary career, had—like Unwin's first reader of Almayer's Folly , Wilfrid Hugh Chesson —been impressed by the manuscript, but Garnett had been "uncertain whether the English was good enough for publication. She had thought Conrad's foreignness a positive merit. While Conrad had only limited personal acquaintance with the peoples of Maritime Southeast Asia , the region looms large in his early work.
According to Najder, Conrad, the exile and wanderer, was aware of a difficulty that he confessed more than once: the lack of a common cultural background with his Anglophone readers meant he could not compete with English-language authors writing about the English-speaking world. At the same time, the choice of a non-English colonial setting freed him from an embarrassing division of loyalty: Almayer's Folly , and later " An Outpost of Progress " , set in a Congo exploited by King Leopold II of Belgium and Heart of Darkness , likewise set in the Congo , contain bitter reflections on colonialism.
The Malay states came theoretically under the suzerainty of the Dutch government ; Conrad did not write about the area's British dependencies, which he never visited. He "was apparently intrigued by The prolific and destructive richness of tropical nature and the dreariness of human life within it accorded well with the pessimistic mood of his early works. Almayer's Folly , together with its successor, An Outcast of the Islands , laid the foundation for Conrad's reputation as a romantic teller of exotic tales—a misunderstanding of his purpose that was to frustrate him for the rest of his career.
Financial success long eluded Conrad, who often requested advances from magazine and book publishers, and loans from acquaintances such as John Galsworthy. Though his talent was early on recognised by English intellectuals, popular success eluded him until the publication of Chance , which is often considered one of his weaker novels. Conrad was a reserved man, wary of showing emotion. He scorned sentimentality; his manner of portraying emotion in his books was full of restraint, scepticism and irony.
In short [ Conrad suffered throughout life from ill health, physical and mental. A newspaper review of a Conrad biography suggested that the book could have been subtitled Thirty Years of Debt, Gout, Depression and Angst. He also complained of swollen hands "which made writing difficult". Taking his uncle Tadeusz Bobrowski's advice, he convalesced at a spa in Switzerland. In one letter he remarked that every novel he had written had cost him a tooth. In his letters he often described symptoms of depression; "the evidence", writes Najder, "is so strong that it is nearly impossible to doubt it. In March , at the end of his Marseilles period, year-old Conrad attempted suicide, by shooting himself in the chest with a revolver. In during a stop-over on Mauritius , in the Indian Ocean , Conrad developed a couple of romantic interests.
One of these would be described in his story "A Smile of Fortune", which contains autobiographical elements e. The narrator, a young captain, flirts ambiguously and surreptitiously with Alice Jacobus, daughter of a local merchant living in a house surrounded by a magnificent rose garden. Research has confirmed that in Port Louis at the time there was a year-old Alice Shaw, whose father, a shipping agent, owned the only rose garden in town.
More is known about Conrad's other, more open flirtation. An old friend, Captain Gabriel Renouf of the French merchant marine, introduced him to the family of his brother-in-law. Renouf's eldest sister was the wife of Louis Edward Schmidt, a senior official in the colony; with them lived two other sisters and two brothers. Though the island had been taken over in by Britain, many of the inhabitants were descendants of the original French colonists, and Conrad's excellent French and perfect manners opened all local salons to him.
He became a frequent guest at the Schmidts', where he often met the Misses Renouf. A couple of days before leaving Port Louis, Conrad asked one of the Renouf brothers for the hand of his year-old sister Eugenie. She was already, however, engaged to marry her pharmacist cousin. After the rebuff, Conrad did not pay a farewell visit but sent a polite letter to Gabriel Renouf, saying he would never return to Mauritius and adding that on the day of the wedding his thoughts would be with them. The elder, Borys, proved a disappointment in scholarship and integrity. However, according to other biographers such as Frederick Karl , Jessie provided what Conrad needed, namely a "straightforward, devoted, quite competent" companion.
The couple rented a long series of successive homes, mostly in the English countryside. Conrad, who suffered frequent depressions, made great efforts to change his mood; the most important step was to move into another house. His frequent changes of home were usually signs of a search for psychological regeneration. Except for several vacations in France and Italy, a vacation in his native Poland, and a visit to the United States, Conrad lived the rest of his life in England.
As the city lay only a few miles from the Russian border, there was a risk of being stranded in a battle zone. With wife Jessie and younger son John ill, Conrad decided to take refuge in the mountain resort town of Zakopane. Conrad aroused interest among the Poles as a famous writer and an exotic compatriot from abroad. He charmed new acquaintances, especially women. Conrad, who was noted by his Polish acquaintances to still be fluent in his native tongue, participated in their impassioned political discussions.
After many travails and vicissitudes, at the beginning of November Conrad managed to bring his family back to England. On his return, he was determined to work on swaying British opinion in favour of restoring Poland's sovereignty. Jessie Conrad would later write in her memoirs: "I understood my husband so much better after those months in Poland. So many characteristics that had been strange and unfathomable to me before, took, as it were, their right proportions. I understood that his temperament was that of his countrymen.
Conrad [writes Najder] was passionately concerned with politics. Moreover, Conrad himself came from a social class that claimed exclusive responsibility for state affairs, and from a very politically active family. These are his fundamentals. His Polish experience endowed him with the perception, exceptional in the Western European literature of his time, of how winding and constantly changing were the front lines in these struggles. The most extensive and ambitious political statement that Conrad ever made was his essay, "Autocracy and War", whose starting point was the Russo-Japanese War he finished the article a month before the Battle of Tsushima Strait. The essay begins with a statement about Russia's incurable weakness and ends with warnings against Prussia , the dangerous aggressor in a future European war.
For Russia he predicted a violent outburst in the near future, but Russia's lack of democratic traditions and the backwardness of her masses made it impossible for the revolution to have a salutary effect. Conrad regarded the formation of a representative government in Russia as unfeasible and foresaw a transition from autocracy to dictatorship. He saw western Europe as torn by antagonisms engendered by economic rivalry and commercial selfishness. In vain might a Russian revolution seek advice or help from a materialistic and egoistic western Europe that armed itself in preparation for wars far more brutal than those of the past.
Conrad's distrust of democracy sprang from his doubts whether the propagation of democracy as an aim in itself could solve any problems. He thought that, in view of the weakness of human nature and of the "criminal" character of society, democracy offered boundless opportunities for demagogues and charlatans. He accused social democrats of his time of acting to weaken "the national sentiment, the preservation of which [was his] concern"—of attempting to dissolve national identities in an impersonal melting-pot. He resented some socialists' talk of freedom and world brotherhood while keeping silent about his own partitioned and oppressed Poland.
Before that, in the early s, letters to Conrad from his uncle Tadeusz [note 23] show Conrad apparently having hoped for an improvement in Poland's situation not through a liberation movement but by establishing an alliance with neighbouring Slavic nations. This had been accompanied by a faith in the Panslavic ideology—"surprising", Najder writes, "in a man who was later to emphasize his hostility towards Russia, a conviction that Poland's [superior] civilization and We must drag the chain and ball of our personality to the end.
This is the price one pays for the infernal and divine privilege of thought; so in this life it is only the chosen who are convicts—a glorious band which understands and groans but which treads the earth amidst a multitude of phantoms with maniacal gestures and idiotic grimaces. Which would you rather be: idiot or convict? Conrad wrote H. Wells that the latter's book, Anticipations , "seems to presuppose In a 23 October letter to mathematician-philosopher Bertrand Russell , in response to the latter's book, The Problem of China , which advocated socialist reforms and an oligarchy of sages who would reshape Chinese society, Conrad explained his own distrust of political panaceas:. I have never [found] in any man's book or The only remedy for Chinamen and for the rest of us is [a] change of hearts, but looking at the history of the last years there is not much reason to expect [it], even if man has taken to flying—a great "uplift" no doubt but no great change Through control of tone and narrative detail To be ironic is to be awake—and alert to the prevailing "somnolence.
Wells recalled Conrad's astonishment that "I could take social and political issues seriously. If irony exists to suggest that there's more to things than meets the eye, Conrad further insists that, when we pay close enough attention, the "more" can be endless. He doesn't reject what [his character] Marlow [introduced in Youth ] calls "the haggard utilitarian lies of our civilisation" in favor of nothing; he rejects them in favor of "something", "some saving truth", "some exorcism against the ghost of doubt"—an intimation of a deeper order, one not easily reduced to words. Authentic, self-aware emotion—feeling that doesn't call itself "theory" or "wisdom"—becomes a kind of standard-bearer, with "impressions" or "sensations" the nearest you get to solid proof.
In an August letter to the editor of The New York Times Saturday Book Review , Conrad wrote: "Egoism, which is the moving force of the world, and altruism, which is its morality, these two contradictory instincts, of which one is so plain and the other so mysterious, cannot serve us unless in the incomprehensible alliance of their irreconcilable antagonism. Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, doth greatly please . Conrad's modest funeral took place amid great crowds. His old friend Edward Garnett recalled bitterly:. To those who attended Conrad's funeral in Canterbury during the Cricket Festival of , and drove through the crowded streets festooned with flags, there was something symbolical in England's hospitality and in the crowd's ignorance of even the existence of this great writer.
A few old friends, acquaintances and pressmen stood by his grave. In his grave was designated a Grade II listed structure. Despite the opinions even of some who knew Conrad personally, such as fellow-novelist Henry James ,  Conrad—even when only writing elegantly crafted letters to his uncle and acquaintances—was always at heart a writer who sailed, rather than a sailor who wrote.
He used his sailing experiences as a backdrop for many of his works, but he also produced works of similar world view , without the nautical motifs. The failure of many critics to appreciate this caused him much frustration. He wrote oftener about life at sea and in exotic parts than about life on British land because—unlike, for example, his friend John Galsworthy , author of The Forsyte Saga —he knew little about everyday domestic relations in Britain. When Conrad's The Mirror of the Sea was published in to critical acclaim, he wrote to his French translator: "The critics have been vigorously swinging the censer to me Behind the concert of flattery, I can hear something like a whisper: 'Keep to the open sea!
Don't land! Nevertheless, Conrad found much sympathetic readership, especially in the United States. Mencken was one of the earliest and most influential American readers to recognise how Conrad conjured up "the general out of the particular". Scott Fitzgerald , writing to Mencken, complained about having been omitted from a list of Conrad imitators. An October visitor to Oswalds, Conrad's home at the time—Cyril Clemens, a cousin of Mark Twain —quoted Conrad as saying: "In everything I have written there is always one invariable intention, and that is to capture the reader's attention. Conrad the artist famously aspired, in the words of his preface to The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' , "by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel That—and no more, and it is everything.
If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm—all you demand—and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask. Writing in what to the visual arts was the age of Impressionism , and what to music was the age of impressionist music , Conrad showed himself in many of his works a prose poet of the highest order: for instance, in the evocative Patna and courtroom scenes of Lord Jim ; in the scenes of the "melancholy-mad elephant" [note 26] and the "French gunboat firing into a continent", in Heart of Darkness ; in the doubled protagonists of The Secret Sharer ; and in the verbal and conceptual resonances of Nostromo and The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'.
Conrad used his own memories as literary material so often that readers are tempted to treat his life and work as a single whole. His " view of the world ", or elements of it, is often described by citing at once both his private and public statements, passages from his letters, and citations from his books. Najder warns that this approach produces an incoherent and misleading picture. Conrad used his own experiences as raw material, but the finished product should not be confused with the experiences themselves. Many of Conrad's characters were inspired by actual persons he had met, including, in his first novel, Almayer's Folly completed , William Charles Olmeijer, the spelling of whose surname Conrad probably altered to "Almayer" inadvertently.
Stewart , "appears to have attached some mysterious significance to such links with actuality. Apart from Conrad's own experiences, a number of episodes in his fiction were suggested by past or contemporary publicly known events or literary works. The first half of the novel Lord Jim the Patna episode was inspired by the real-life story of the SS Jeddah ;  the second part, to some extent by the life of James Brooke , the first White Rajah of Sarawak. In Nostromo completed , the theft of a massive consignment of silver was suggested to Conrad by a story he had heard in the Gulf of Mexico and later read about in a "volume picked up outside a second-hand bookshop.
While the [news]papers murmured about revolution in Colombia, Conrad opened a fresh section of Nostromo with hints of dissent in Costaguana", his fictional South American country. He plotted a revolution in the Costaguanan fictional port of Sulaco that mirrored the real-life secessionist movement brewing in Panama. When Conrad finished the novel on 1 September , writes Jasanoff, "he left Sulaco in the condition of Panama. The Secret Agent completed was inspired by the French anarchist Martial Bourdin 's death while apparently attempting to blow up the Greenwich Observatory.
For the natural surroundings of the high seas , the Malay Archipelago and South America, which Conrad described so vividly, he could rely on his own observations. What his brief landfalls could not provide was a thorough understanding of exotic cultures. For this he resorted, like other writers, to literary sources. Stewart writes, Conrad's "need to work to some extent from second-hand" led to "a certain thinness in Jim's relations with the In keeping with his scepticism   and melancholy,  Conrad almost invariably gives lethal fates to the characters in his principal novels and stories.
Almayer Almayer's Folly , , abandoned by his beloved daughter, takes to opium, and dies. Kurtz Heart of Darkness , expires, uttering the words, "The horror! The horror! Verloc, The Secret Agent of divided loyalties, attempts a bombing, to be blamed on terrorists, that accidentally kills his mentally defective brother-in-law Stevie, and Verloc himself is killed by his distraught wife, who drowns herself by jumping overboard from a channel steamer. When a principal character of Conrad's does escape with his life, he sometimes does not fare much better.
Petersburg student, the revolutionist Victor Haldin, who has assassinated a savagely repressive Russian government minister. Haldin is tortured and hanged by the authorities. Later Razumov, sent as a government spy to Geneva , a centre of anti-tsarist intrigue, meets the mother and sister of Haldin, who share Haldin's liberal convictions. Razumov falls in love with the sister and confesses his betrayal of her brother; later he makes the same avowal to assembled revolutionists, and their professional executioner bursts his eardrums, making him deaf for life. Razumov staggers away, is knocked down by a streetcar, and finally returns as a cripple to Russia.
Conrad was keenly conscious of tragedy in the world and in his works. In , at the start of his writing career, he had written to his Scottish writer-politician friend Cunninghame Graham : "What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it. I absolutely object to being called a tragedian. Conrad claimed that he "never kept a diary and never owned a notebook. Unlike many authors who make it a point not to discuss work in progress, Conrad often did discuss his current work and even showed it to select friends and fellow authors, such as Edward Garnett , and sometimes modified it in the light of their critiques and suggestions.
Edward Said was struck by the sheer quantity of Conrad's correspondence with friends and fellow writers; by , it "amount[ed] to eight published volumes". Edward Said comments: "[I]t seemed to me that if Conrad wrote of himself, of the problem of self-definition, with such sustained urgency, some of what he wrote must have had meaning for his fiction. He believed that his [own] life was like a series of short episodes Throughout almost his entire life Conrad was an outsider and felt himself to be one. Conrad called himself to Graham a "bloody foreigner. Conrad borrowed from other, Polish- and French-language authors, to an extent sometimes skirting plagiarism.
Comparative-literature scholar Yves Hervouet has demonstrated in the text of Victory a whole mosaic of influences, borrowings, similarities and allusions. He further lists hundreds of concrete borrowings from other, mostly French authors in nearly all of Conrad's works, from Almayer's Folly to his unfinished Suspense. Conrad seems to have used eminent writers' texts as raw material of the same kind as the content of his own memory. Materials borrowed from other authors often functioned as allusions. Moreover, he had a phenomenal memory for texts and remembered details, "but [writes Najder] it was not a memory strictly categorized according to sources, marshalled into homogeneous entities; it was, rather, an enormous receptacle of images and pieces from which he would draw.
Continues Najder: "[H]e can never be accused of outright plagiarism. Even when lifting sentences and scenes, Conrad changed their character, inserted them within novel structures. He did not imitate, but as Hervouet says 'continued' his masters. He was right in saying: 'I don't resemble anybody. Conrad, like other artists, faced constraints arising from the need to propitiate his audience and confirm their own favourable self-regard. This may account for his describing the admirable crew of the Judea in his story " Youth " as " Liverpool hard cases", whereas the crew of the Judea' s actual prototype, the Palestine , had included not a single Liverpudlian, and half the crew had been non-Britons;  and for Conrad's transforming the real-life criminally negligent British captain J.
Clark, of the SS Jeddah , in his novel Lord Jim , into the captain of the fictitious Patna —"a sort of renegade New South Wales German" so monstrous in physical appearance as to suggest "a trained baby elephant". The singularity of the universe depicted in Conrad's novels, especially compared to those of near-contemporaries like his friend and frequent benefactor John Galsworthy , is such as to open him to criticism similar to that later applied to Graham Greene. In the view of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis , it was not until the first volumes of Anthony Powell 's sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time , were published in the s, that an English novelist achieved the same command of atmosphere and precision of language with consistency, a view supported by later critics like A.
Wilson ; Powell acknowledged his debt to Conrad. Leo Gurko, too, remarks, as "one of Conrad's special qualities, his abnormal awareness of place, an awareness magnified to almost a new dimension in art, an ecological dimension defining the relationship between earth and man. Lawrence , one of many writers whom Conrad befriended, offered some perceptive observations about Conrad's writing:. He's absolutely the most haunting thing in prose that ever was: I wish I knew how every paragraph he writes It's not built in the rhythm of ordinary prose, but on something existing only in his head, and as he can never say what it is he wants to say, all his things end in a kind of hunger, a suggestion of something he can't say or do or think.
So his books always look bigger than they are. He's as much a giant of the subjective as Kipling is of the objective. Do they hate one another? Joseph Conrad's heroes were often alone, and close to hostility and danger. Sometimes, when Conrad's imagination was at its most fertile and his command of English at its most precise, the danger came darkly from within the self. At other times, however, it came from what could not be named. Conrad sought then to evoke rather than delineate, using something close to the language of prayer.
While his imagination was content at times with the tiny, vivid, perfectly observed detail, it was also nourished by the need to suggest and symbolize. Like a poet, he often left the space in between strangely, alluringly vacant. His own vague terms—words like "ineffable", "infinite", "mysterious", "unknowable"—were as close as he could come to a sense of our fate in the world or the essence of the universe, a sense that reached beyond the time he described and beyond his characters' circumstances. This idea of "beyond" satisfied something in his imagination.
He worked as though between the intricate systems of a ship and the vague horizon of a vast sea. This irreconcilable distance between what was precise and what was shimmering made him much more than a novelist of adventure, a chronicler of the issues that haunted his time, or a writer who dramatized moral questions. This left him open to interpretation—and indeed to attack [by critics such as the novelists V. Naipaul and Chinua Achebe ]. In a letter of 14 December to his Scottish friend, Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham , Conrad wrote that science tells us, "Understand that thou art nothing, less than a shadow, more insignificant than a drop of water in the ocean, more fleeting than the illusion of a dream.
In a letter of 20 December to Cunninghame Graham , Conrad metaphorically described the universe as a huge machine:. It evolved itself I am severely scientific out of a chaos of scraps of iron and behold! I am horrified at the horrible work and stand appalled. I feel it ought to embroider—but it goes on knitting. You come and say: "this is all right; it's only a question of the right kind of oil. Let us use this—for instance—celestial oil and the machine shall embroider a most beautiful design in purple and gold. Alas no. You cannot by any special lubrication make embroidery with a knitting machine. No matter who you ask, you will get the same answer: dating nowadays is hard.
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