Heart Of Darkness 8 Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad is a landmark of modern fiction. It is onsidered to be one of the greatest works of literature of its time. In Heart of Darkness, a boat is anchored in the Thames River outside London. A sailor by the name of Marlow begins to reminisce of a certain incident in his past, when he commanded a steamboat on the Congo River. This reflection forms the plot of the novel. In his yarn, Marlow aspires to explore the uncharted African jungles. His aunt arranges for him to be captain of a Congo steamer. When Marlow reaches the Company's Outer Station in Africa, he is confronted with white greed and black slavery. He discovers disease ridden African workers awaiting their death. He also meets the Company's chief accountant. The accountant tells of Mr. Kurtz who is and agent who has sent more ivory back from the jungle than the other agents combined. Marlow becomes obsessed with Kurtz throughout the remainder of the story. Marlow arrives at the Company's Central Station, following a difficult 200-mile tramp. Upon arrival, he learns that the steamer he was supposed to command has been wrecked. He meets the local manager, who has no moral sensibility, only business sensibility. He mentions that Mr. Kurtz may be ill at his station upriver and that it is fundamental to reach him as soon as possible. Marlow learns a great deal about Kurtz in the time spent waiting for his steamer to be repaired. At one point he talks to a brick maker, who feels that Kurtz is admirable, yet he is resentful towards him because of his many talents which make him a likely candidate for promotion. On another occasion, Marlow overhears a conversation between the manager and his uncle, an explorer. The manager despises Kurtz because of his principles as well as his abilities. After three months of repairs, Marlow, the manager, a crew of three or four whites, and 30 Africans begin the dangerous expedition up the Congo River to Kurtz's station. The crew faces many obstacles. They come upon a reed hut fifty miles below the station. They discover wood stacked for the steamboat along with a message warning them to approach cautiously. A couple of mornings later they awaken surrounded by a thick fog through which they hear a melee of threatening cries. They set sail after the fog lifts. Suddenly they are assailed with a torrent of arrows. The white men on board fire fervently into the brush, meanwhile, Marlow's African helmsman gets a spear between the ribs. Marlow sounds the steam whistle in order to deter the attackers. He casts the dead helmsman overboard in order to inhibit the temptation of the hungry cannibal crew. Upon arrival at the Inner Station, a Russian sailor who has been caring for Kurtz greets them. He had left the wood and the message for the crew. The young Russian is a radical admirer of Kertz, although he admits that Kertz gained his wealth through violence and intimidation. He told Marlow how the wilderness had a great impact on...

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