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
There, he became one of the many merchants operating along the river. He regulated the trade in goods such as sugar, tea and coffee between the Congo and Europe. He also helped the Belgian government to build transport routes in the area. Charles also works with local farmers to promote agriculture in the area. He finally returned to Brussels after three years in the Congo.
He felt that this was something wrong and immoral. He realized that he had to do something to help the people trapped in the ivory trade.
Summary and Analysis: Central Station
He also took their money without fear.
He understood that he had to carry Kurtz’s supplies to reach his goal. He also knew that he couldn’t do without a boat, so he was very disappointed when the General Manager informed him that the boat was broken and unusable.
Marlow is determined to repair the boat and save Kurtz. He worked tirelessly, using readily available materials around the central station. He also gathered local people to help in the recovery process. Marlow manages to repair the boat and save Kurtz and his assistants. He also managed to prevent the general manager from sabotaging again. Marlow had succeeded in protecting Kurtz and his people from the general manager’s threats.
“He was an immoral person, who only cared about himself and had no respect or compassion for others.”
“I let it run, this papier-mache Mephistopheles, and it seems to me that if I tried I could poke his forefinger out, and would find nothing in it but a bit of loose dirt, maybe.” (p.68)
This is an unfair and unfounded view. Offal masonry is a very important job in construction, and the people who do it often have extraordinary technical skills. They also often have dedication and a willingness to work hard to get their job done well. Even though these jobs might be treated as lowly jobs, that doesn’t mean that those who do them should be perceived as people of low character.
Summary and Analysis: Deep Stations
After that, Marlow and his crew continued their journey. They find Kurtz in a remote village. Kurtz had been seriously ill and was near death. Marlow manages to get him back on board, but Kurtz dies before they reach their destination. At the end of his journey, Marlow realized that he had seen the dark side of humanity: greed, cruelty, and destruction.
she admired and respected him, and even took Marlow to where Kurtz was buried.
“I told you,” she cried, “this man made up my mind.” (p.85)
He also realized that Russia was a very influential person in the area and might have some control over Kurtz.
“Kurtz has found incredible strength within himself.”
“There was something wanting him – some small matter which, when pressing pressure arose, could not be discovered under his extraordinary eloquence. Whether he knew this deficiency himself, I cannot say. I think that knowledge came to him in the end – only in the end But the wilderness found him earlier, and exacted revenge for the fantastic invasion. I think it whispered things about himself he did not know, things he had no conception of until he took counsel with this splendid solitude – and that whisper proved irresistible. It resonated loudly within him for he was hollow at heart.” (p. 113)
He concludes that Kurtz has lost everything he loved and treasured, and is now only “insanity”.
On the way home
“Enough”. Marlow takes this as an order to complete Kurtz’s work and ensure that the documents he leaves get to the right hands. He did well, and the documents finally arrived at their destination.
“Creepy! Creepy!” (p. 125)
This debate covers various aspects, including human rights, social justice, and the political consequences of colonialism. Some argue that colonialism has brought tremendous technological and economic progress to Africa, while others emphasize its negative impact on local culture and people’s rights.
Marlow finally decided to keep the letters and not tell anyone. He thought that this was the best thing for Kurtz, and he wanted to protect his good name.
“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.” (p.144)
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.