Major Works Data Sheet
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
Title: Heart of Darkness
Author: Joseph Conrad
Date of Publication: 1899
Genre: fiction, novella, historical fiction Biographical Information about the Author:
Joseph Conrad’s life is very similar to the plot of Heart of Darkness. He was born in Poland, moved so that he would not be enlisted into the Russian army, and instead joined the French Merchant Marine and worked his way up to become a Master Mariner. Progressing from this experience, his life became similar to Marlow’s in Heart of Darkness. He captained a steamboat into Africa during the colonization and witnessed the terrible mistreatment of the African people as the Europeans unrightfully claimed their lands.…show more content… Though we learn more about the themes of Heart of Darkness through the other characters, Marlow is the one who the reader identifies with. Marlow’s thoughts and experiences along his journey allow the reader to interpret the other characters and the plot.
the mysterious chief of the Inner Station who Marlow heard of throughout his time with the Company, Marlow begins to search for him to solve the mystery of who Kurtz is. Kurtz ends up having deep ideas about human nature and many talents that fascinate Marlow.
Runs Outer Station in the Company, has a way of easily intimidating others; foil of Kurtz
The brickmaker words closely with the general manager and though he is supposed to be making bricks, he doesn’t. Instead, it seems that he spies on the other workers in the company.
Gets Marlow his first position in the Company through her connections.
Kurtz’s fiancée lovingly waits for Kurtz to return. She is sure of his love for her and is unaware that he has a mistress in…show more content… This is a contrast to Marlow’s European homeplace which is also described in the story. The story begins with Marlow telling his story to shipmates on the Thames River of England. Then he continues to tell the story of his journey through Africa which takes place on the Congo River. His journey through Africa brings him through undeveloped areas that are dark, lush, and remind him of prehistoric times. This creates a contrast with the Thames River and England which are developed and lack abundant vegetation. This sends the message that England was once like Africa and the people were once like the African people. Though the places seem to be caught in two different time periods, Conrad uses these contrasting settings to depict that the two places are very similar. Therefore, the Europeans should not be mistreating the African people. The novel begins with several historical references.These historical references help set a general theme for the events that Marlow describes. For instance, the narrator describes the history of when the British went into less fortunate nations to civilize them and bring in British trade. In this historical example, we can see that these ¨less fortunate¨ nations did not appreciate the invasion of the British and saw their civilization as invasion. Thus, the historical references in the beginning of the novel set the topic of civilization versus