Summary of “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

This book describes Marlow’s journey through unspoiled Africa, where he discovers the cruelty and greed brought about by colonialism. The main theme of this book is uncertainty about humans and the universe. Marlow tells his story of how he met Kurtz, a man the locals respected and respected. He also tells how Kurtz has turned into a very cruel and selfish figure. Marlow realized that these atrocities were the result of European colonization of Africa. When Marlow arrived at Kurtz’s place, he saw how far people had changed under the influence of colonialism. The locals have been forced to help Kurtz in any way he asks. They are also forced to serve his wishes without question or protest. Marlow was stunned by this situation and began to question humanity’s goal of dominating the other world. 

Eventually, Marlow managed to bring Kurtz back to London, but Kurtz died shortly after. Marlow feels guilty for not being able to save Kurtz from himself and from the bad influence of European colonialism in Africa. The story finally ends with Marlow believing that humans must learn to live in harmony with nature and one another without dominating one another or usurping other human rights. He also has a bold nature and dares to face unknown situations.

Summary and Analysis: Outer Station

In the Outer Station section of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the main character, Charles Marlowe, approaches the inner mysteries of colonial Africa. The external supply agency is the first place where Marlowe comes face to face with the disturbing reality of imperialist expansion.

Marlo observes life at a supply agency where emaciated African slaves work. They work in an unwavering rhythm, setting machines in motion with an invisible force. The colonial system abuses the natural environment and the local population.

“Outer Station” highlights the moral decay and degradation that occurs under the rule of the white male Kurtz, who serves as a symbol of moral decay. The feeling of separation from the civilized world and delving into the darkness of the heart of Africa intensifies Marlowe’s inner struggle.

Thus, Outer Station presents the conflict between civilization and the wild, as well as the moral and ethical challenges that accompany colonial expansion.


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Summary and Analysis: Central Station

In the Central Station chapter of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Charles Marlowe travels deeper into the jungle, approaching a central station that serves as the epicenter of colonial ambition and moral schism.

At Central Station, Marlowe encountered disorder and chaos, symbolizing the degradation and immorality of the imperialist enterprise. Abuse of the local population and a sense of hopelessness are increasing. Here Marlowe first begins to understand the strange figure of Kurtz, who has become an idol for the local population.

The central station becomes a symbol of the psychological division, abuse and darkness that pervades the colonial reality. This stage of Marlowe’s journey highlights his inner struggle with spiritual darkness and the destructive effects of imperialist practices.

In Central Station, Conrad deepens his analysis of moral decline and alienation, revealing the darkness that reigns in the depths of the colonial enterprise and the human soul.

Summary and Analysis: Deep Stations

The main character, Marlo, travels down the Congo River in search of a mysterious ivory trader, Smoker. As Marlowe travels, he discovers that darkness is not only in the world around him, but also in his heart. Deep stations embody an atmosphere of alienation and immorality.

The text allows the reader to feel the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds the Smoker and deep stations. Their remoteness from civilization creates the impression that time and space are stretched, and moral norms blur in the dark. The theme of power and its abuse is revealed here, which emphasizes the injustice and injustice of colonial subjugation.

“Heart of Darkness” leaves the reader wondering about the nature of human nature and values. Through deep stations, the work deepens into a psychological labyrinth, revealing the darkness that is hidden in everyone’s heart.

On the way home

On his way home in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the hero Marlowe faces an inner conflict and the revelation of his human nature. His journey across the Congo River symbolizes not only geographical distance, but also his own inner journey to understand the darkness in his own heart.

During this journey, the hero discovers that darkness and evil are not limited to external conditions or countries. They exist inside each person. “Heart of Darkness” highlights the theme of moral degradation and exploitation in a colonial context, but also raises questions about moral boundaries and loss of dignity.

Marlowe, uplifted and amazed by what he sees, sets out to return home, but his experience at the deep stations leaves a mark on his soul. He witnesses a darkness that is by no means limited to the borders of the Congo, and it rethinks his understanding of human nature.

On the way home, the hero Marlo not only moves physically, but also travels inside himself, where the real “heart of darkness” is revealed. This work by Conrad leaves the reader questioning the morality and value of human existence in the context of the merciless world of the colonial period.


“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad ends with an epilogue that leaves the reader with deep thoughts. Marlowe, the narrator and witness of events, returns to the uncertainty of ordinary life, but the burden of what he experienced remains. This ending emphasizes the incomprehensibility and impossibility of fully illuminating the darkness within us. The epilogue leaves room for the reader’s own reflections and conclusions, raising questions about the nature of the human soul and the value of moral compromises in the light of one’s own “heart of darkness.”

“I know that I will never be like Kurtz, but I also know that I have to find a way to be better than what he has done.” The three men then continued on their way up the river. They share their stories and experiences, all the while floating on the water. They looked at the beautiful nature and felt relieved because they had learned so much about life and death. They know that even though there are problems and obstacles in front of them, they are not alone. By supporting each other, they are ready to face whatever comes their way.

“Offing forbidden by the black bank of clouds, and a quiet waterway to the ends of the earth flowing under the overcast sky – seems to lead to the heart of the great darkness.”  This shows that the narrator realizes that darkness is not something that comes from outside, but is also inside. Another criticism Conrad received was that he portrayed Africans as helpless and passive characters. However, his novels also depict Africans as leaders, protagonists, and defenders of their rights. He also shows how Africans fought for independence and resisted European colonization. In addition, Conrad was also accused of racial stereotyping. While some of the characters in his novels may be stereotypical, Conrad also portrays many characters who are more complex and varied. He also highlighted the racial injustice experienced by Africans under European colonization.