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Heart Of Darkness Intro Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

HOD Intros Babienko AP English
#1 - Intro and Conclusion:In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the balance of man's savage nature and the suppression of his natural desires by "civilization" is explored. Conrad asks "what is civilization?" and uses Kurtz's experiences to define it as a façade of society designed to repress man's natural desires. This conclusion helps to bring to light the pitfalls of colonialism, the necessity of civilization, and Kurtz's genius in realizing these truths in his deathbed. ***Kurtz's stay in the jungle helps him to understand his natural state. And in his final words he understands the pitfalls and façade of "civilization." This helps shed light on the central question, "What is civilization." Marlow's decision to keep the secret reveals (is driven by) society's necessity, and the irrationality of colonialism shows itself when "civilization" is removed. The question "what is 'civilization' shows the paradox of society.#2 - Intro and Conclusion:Joseph Conrad questions the value of Imperialism in his novella, Heart of Darkness. Marlow, the protagonist of the novella, discusses the madness and monstrosities he has seen in his journey up the Congo River. Conrad never provides the reader with a clear-cut answer to the value of Imperialism, because Marlow narrates on both the benefits and disadvantages of the European conquering system. This ambiguity forces the reader to see the inner darkness in everything and, with this knowledge, pass judgment. ****While Marlow narrates about the obvious fallacies and monstrosities of Imperialism, he also shows the necessities of it. The women's "beautiful world" proves he need for saving illusions and lies, yet this perpetuates the erroneous view of European "civility" though which Imperialism is deemed justified - both of which create opposition to the central question of the value of Imperialism. Conrad never answers the question definitively, forces the reader to make his own judgments.#3 - Intro and Conclusion:Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness takes place on the fringes of European civilization, where it comes in contact with the savage, uncivilized jungle. The inherent conflict that exists between the two states is used by the author to ask the question of whether or not civilization really holds any intrinsic value at all. Conrad answers this question by showing that civilization does not actually make us civil, or provide any real progress; however it does hold utility as a guiding ideal, to lend some purpose to life. This treatment of the question leads towards Conrad's central message that perseverance is necessary in the face of human futility.***Throughout the novella, Conrad continually challenges assumptions about the superiority of the civilized over the uncivilized. The events of the novella serve to show how corrupt the civil world actually is, but ultimately the fact that civilization provides man with a purpose makes it necessary. This leads towards...

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