Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: A Critical and Contextual by Cedric Watts

By Cedric Watts

This ebook deals a close dialogue of Conrad’s such a lot superb and problematical paintings. Many major elements of Heart of Darkness are tested, from plot and characterisation to imagery and symbolism, and specific cognizance is paid to its ambiguity and paradoxes. through bearing on the textual content to quite a few contexts, Cedric Watts explores Conrad’s valuable preoccupations as a author and as a commentator on his age. the 1st version of this learn seemed in 1977, and reviewers defined it as ‘criticism of the top order’ (Joseph Conrad Today) and ‘an very important book’ (Conradiana).

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Additional info for Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: A Critical and Contextual Discussion (2nd Edition) (Conrad Studies, Volume 7)

Sample text

As we will shortly learn from Marlow, some of these reflections were in fact uttered aloud to the group on the yawl; but, by avoiding quotation-marks and by using a pluperfect tense which equivocates between direct and reported speech, making a complex erlebte Rede, Conrad increases the possibility that the reader will be hoodwinked into false security, into thinking that the reflections offer a safe guide to the central attitudes of the author. If that reader is of a sentimental disposition, he may begin to smile DSSURYLQJO\ DW WKH URPDQWLF WULEXWH WR WKH 7KDPHV·V SDVW LI KH LV RI D sceptical disposition, his smile may be one of complacent superiority.

D\HUWV·GHDWKDQGLQ the later tale, the death of Fresleven offers partial premonition of the fate that may befall Kurtz. D\HUWVDQG&DUOLHUPLJKWKDYHOLYHGLIWKH steamer bringing rHOLHIKDGDUULYHGSXQFWXDOO\DQGWKHVWHDPHU·VGHOD\LV a consequence of the contempt the manager feels for the men. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz might have lived if the steamer had not been wrecked; DQG WKH ZUHFNLQJ LV FRQQHFWHG ZLWK WKH PDQDJHU·V KRVWLOLty to Kurtz. 30 &RQUDG·VHeart of Darkness )XUWKHUPRUH VRPH RI WKH ´RPQLVFLHQW DXWKRU·Vµ SKLORVRSKLFDO generalisations could apply as aptly to the later work as to ¶2XWSRVW·: for example: Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.

Not many of those she looked at ever saw her again ² not half, by a long ZD\µ ´Morituri te salutant µ WKH5RPDQJODGLDWRUV·WULEXWHWRWKHLUHPSHURU ´7KH\ZKRDUHDERXWWRGLHVDOXWH\RXµ,) is indeed the key-note of this VHFWLRQ 7KH MRYLDO FOHUN ZKR WDNHV KLP WR WKH GRFWRU·V VXGGHQO\ becomes very cool when Marlow expressHVVXUSULVHWKDWKHLVQ·WJRLQJWR WKH &RQJR ´, DP QRW VXFK D IRRO DV , ORRNµ KH FRPPHQWV $QG WKH doctor who so clinically examines Marlow hints not only that few return from the journey, and not only at the perils of madness there, but also that anyone who applies for such a post may ipso facto be touched by OXQDF\ ´(YHUDQ\PDGQHVVLQ\RXUIDPLO\"µ 7KHVHFDPHRVRIWKHFOHUN DQGWKHGRFWRUFRQYH\DGURLWO\0DUORZ·VVHQVHRIFULWLFDODOLHQDWLRQIURP them, and theirs ² beneath their outward joviality or courtesy ² from him: specimen observes specimen.

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