Major Works Notes Heart Of Darkness - Westwood AP English 4 - Notes

1938 words - 8 pages

James Nguyen
Period 3
1. Title
a. Title of Book
i. Heart of Darkness
b. Author
i. Joseph Conrad, from Berdychiv, Ukraine
c. Nationality
i. United Kingdom
d. Date of Original Publication
i. 1899 serial; 1902 book
2. Setting
a. England
i. River Thames
1. The narration begins aboard the Nellie upon the River Thames
2. The river serves as a parallel to the Congo River in Africa as
Marlow views Africa as a past version of England before it was
conquered by the more “civilized” Romans
a. Marlow remarks England as once being “one of the dark
places of the Earth” and that pre-Roman England was
considered a “savage wilderness” similar to that of Africa
b. Africa
i. Congo River
1. A majority of the story takes place upon or around the Congo
2. The river is referred to as a “coiled snake” by Marlow which labels
the Congo River as a symbol of imminent danger; however, the
river also hides many dangers lurking within the shadows
3. Marlow’s expedition upstream was treacherous and plagued with
hardships that hindered Marlow and his crew towards the heart of
the “dark continent” which served as a “wake-up call” for Marlow
and his romanticized view of the savage wilderness; however, the
river expelled Marlow and his crew bearing “towards the sea with
twice the speed” as their upward progress.
c. Time/Social Environment
i. England, 1898-1899
1. At the time of the release of Conrad’s novella, the attitudes of the
general British population were supportive of the British Empire’s
imperialistic ways as glorious and helpful as they believed the
James Nguyen
Period 3
British contributed to the betterment of all by exerting their
influence through the vehicle of imperialism. Although this belief
was prevalent with among the British, the belief that the imperial
powers were conquering lands for the betterment of those
conquered was widespread across the imperial powers.
3. Structure
a. Divided into three parts or editions as part of a serial (Youth: a Narrative, Heart of
Darkness, and The End of the Tether)
i. The novella is divided into three parts as a method for Conrad to separate
the journey of through the heart of darkness. The purpose of part one is to
develop the backstory of the novella as well as lead into the journey into
the heart of darkness. Next, part two covers the details of the events within
the heart of the “dark continent” such as the commotions with the damages
to Marlow’s ship. Finally, the story leads out of the heart of darkness after
the issues with Kurtz are settled and the story comes to a close.
b. The point of view of Conrad’s novella is quite complicated as the point of view
lies primarily with Marlow; however, Marlow’s story is told through Marlow’s
lens in the first person by the unnamed narrator as Heart of Darkness is framed as
a story within a story.
i. The purpose of the first person for the frame narrative is to distinguish the
lines between the parallels of England and the River Thames versus Africa
and the Congo River. ...

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