Conrad's Heart of Darkness, published at the close the nineteenth century (1899), is an important step in the development of the modern. It is an early important example of the Western intellectual elite in reaction against Western culture, in this case in denouncing colonialism, then an integral part of European and American civilization…
Far from simply telling the reader his critique of colonialism in a straight-forward manner, Conrad leads the reader on a path of discovery so that he can reach similar conclusions on his own. One tool that Conrad uses to accomplish this is the use of various narrative devices. This has long been observed, and it ahs been suggested that the variation of Conrad's narrative technique from straight-forward discourse helps to destabilize the cultural assumptions that supported colonialism.
"Edward Said, and before him Wilson Harris, has observed that Conrad's very style with its first-person narrators, framed narratives, time jumps, fractured sentences, and addiction to adjectives upsets the notion of absolute truths assumed by the 'Civilizing mission'" (Hawkins 370).
In this paper, Conrad's techniques of narration, the rather unusually ordering the text, moving in a linear direction like a mystery, but also withholding or giving important pieces of information out of temporal sequence, and his practice of transforming seemingly simple narration of events experienced by his story-teller Marlow into complex images that strongly suggest the richly symbolic and evocative character of works of visual art, are used to support his critique of colonialism.
The Heart of Darkness is not told by Marlow. ...
In Heart of Darkness the "I" speaks for several pages, interacts briefly with Marlow, then lets his narrative take over. The "I" reappears only in the last paragraph when he informs the reader, "Marlow ceased" (77) and continues his own narrative of the ship voyage they are sharing.
This complex element of the Heart of Darkness' narratology was keenly observed by Conrad's fellow novelist Henry James (James 1914). From a logical view point, this device ought to make the story seem highly implausible since it is obvious that no one could report exactly a speech of thousands of words that he heard only once, so a text produced in this way must be filled with error and conjecture. Yet, as James rightly argues, the device thickens the "atmosphere of authenticity" (313). The writer must work harder to handle the multiple levels of narration, but the result seems more effortless to the reader than a simple omniscient narrator. This is because it copies the circumstances of real life. Everyone has heard someone tell a story second hand so it seems natural to read a story constructed in that way. Conrad is suggesting a situation in which the reader will have found himself occupying the position of the narrator, listening to a story, rather than the more formal act of reading a story. The individual personalities of the narrators, their similitude to real persons, seems to testify to the truth of the narrative. By assigning the omniscience of the narrator to the highest level, the "I" of Heart of Darkness, the implausibility of a speaker who knows and controls everything is removed, leaving the sub-narrator Marlow free to seem a real person speaking in real terms, for all that he is as omniscient as the author needs him to be. ...
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Nouf Aljohany Professor Name Course Title 4 December 2011 Said's Critique of Conrad's Heart of Darkness In this critique of a critique, I will examine Edward Said's opinion of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. It is through the author's essay, Two Visions in 'Heart of Darkness' that I can analyze his thoughts and opinions on the short novel and develop my own thoughts about this short work.
Conrad wrote this novel in 1890s during the time when European placed the darkest sites of the world under their control. Europeans scrambled and stretched their powers outside their continent to far parts of Africa. This novel provides an account of European imperial activities in Congo.
Such is the impact of the holocaust that mankind can talk in support of it or express their disgust but can never ignore the incident in human history. The point is that the dark hand behind this holocaust was that of Hitler’s but he was not alone in his venture.
The Waste Land by T.S Eliot is one of the most influential modern poems of the 20th century. Although known for its satire and prophecy, it seems to suggest meaninglessness in life, existence and fall of civilization. The waste land is characteristically unconventional and controversial following none of the defined poetic styles and the subject matter seems to have transcended cultures and limits of time and place.
It can also be related to the inhumane acts and exploitation that colonizers practice upon the natives that they ruled.
Through his experience in the African jungle, Kurtz has turned into a beast. Perhaps it's because the environment of the jungle has no restrictions against man's behavior.
In the novel, the novelist adopts a significant narrative technique of Framed Narrative, in which the narrator begins the story which Marlow takes over and the narrator breaks in occasionally. In other words, Marlow's tale is framed by a larger narrative that makes him into a kind of storyteller and it is important to recognize Marlow as Conrad's alter-ego.
Chinu Achabe or Ngugi wa Thiong'o as they were blacks had the direct experience of the underprivileged. So he uses special strategies to convey the African experience of the native black. An examination of the rhetorical strategies used by the author in The Life and Times of Michael K gives us deeper insight into the use of language as distinguishing feature of the social classes of ruler and the ruled.
The relationship between the rational, light world and the irrational, dark and mad world is integral to understanding the novel. Perhaps the most famous line of Heart of Darkness is "Mr Kurtz - He dead", expressing the view that Kurtz, who has gone further into the darkness of Africa, has lost all his humanity and has gone totally mad.
His narrative tries to explain why he thinks Africa is dark. The darkness alludes to the skin color of the Africans, the dark mysteries of the natives, the land and the unknown. This essay explores how the Africans were depicted in the short novel, Heart of Darkness.
Many modern and leftist critics, including the celebrated Nigerian author Chinua Achebe find the novel to be upholding imperialism and racism in a very subtle and hidden way. Heart of Darkness, a story the reader presumes to be have happened in the Congo as depicted by Marlow from a barge on the Thames.
3 Pages(750 words)Book Report/Review
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