Truth Retrieved: Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

  • Konstantin Kolenda

Abstract

Conrad tells his story through a narrator, Marlow. It is difficult to avoid the impression that in this story the author is revealing his own thoughts about the human condition. The details of the narration, though sparingly delineated, draw the reader immediately into the deeper undercurrents of emotion and reflection on many weighty topics. The persistent imagery of darkness and light, playing against each other, effectively blends the physical and metaphysical dimensions of this metaphor. One aspect of this metaphor soon obtrudes itself: the immense darkness of the overwhelming cosmos is illumined — briefly — in human consciousness. That illumination is flickering unsteadily, ultimately doomed to oblivion in the immensity of time. Yet, while it lasts, the author seems to suggest, it can become a target of fascination — the way Kurtz becomes the all-consuming object of Marlow’s imagination.

Keywords

Entropy Starch Europe Steam Smoke 

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Copyright information

© Konstantin Kolenda 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantin Kolenda
    • 1
  1. 1.Rice UniversityUSA

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