Critical Book Review: The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Throughout the history of civilization, global force have used the direction of morality and a subjective interpretation of good versus evil to advance their economic and political stronghold. A great example lies in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, where sexism, racism, human rights violations and economic imperialism all go against one another to disclose examples of the darkest side of human nature. Through the storyteller, Marlow, Conrad describes his personal experiences in the Congo, obscuring the lines between fiction and fact, and opening up variety types of controversy and debate which will, for centuries, cast disbelief on his own morality and motivation.
It is obvious that Conrad has an original style of narration in Heart of Darkness, which I’d say a major influence is his childhood experiences. There are several readers who may get offended by his style of narration, however I did not take any of it to offense for the most part. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses an unidentified first person narrator, there is no identity or name given, and other than that of the narration itself, Marlow has no role in the story. I read what he is saying, but not once in the story do I know any emotions to what he is thinking or feeling. For me, this created a separation from the narrator which added an extreme level of complication to the story. The distance and separation forced me as a reader to engage in my own imaginations and it allowed me to become a participant in the story's ultimate meaning.
Although this strategy may or may not meet the purpose that the narrator originally intended, it allowed me to become more personally connected to the story, and in effect, share composition. Personally, I think a little narrative and reader separation can make the emotion of the characters even more engaging and the readers will be more in tuned and creative while reading. Allowing the power of the scene to provide the emotion, makes reading easier for me versus me just always reading the narrator's point of view. This skill is used often by Conrad as he describes scenes on the river that provoke words, this left me be being able to evaluate and interpret things making the story a collaboration, and in the process, a full substance.
Starting out reading the book I was a bit skeptical of how to react or what my reactions should be. There are several...