"Heart of Darkness": A Cautionary Tale Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the theme of evil in Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness".
# 149763 | 3,096 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 30, 2011 in Literature (English)

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The paper discusses how Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness", shows how evil operates slowly by tricking the individual into believing that nothing is wrong. The paper looks at Kurtz's fall into the abyss of evil as an example of the frail nature of man when he is allowed to indulge in all of his passions and desires. The paper points out that "Heart of Darkness" is a novel of despair but, more importantly, it is a stern warning to readers to avoid such a fate.

From the Paper:

"Marlow's encounters with Kurtz reveal the frailty of the human soul but it takes him some time to realize this. Marlow explains how Kurtz is a "gifted" (Conrad 294) man whose "sympathies were in the right place" (295). These sympathies took a turn for the worse as Marlow discovers and after years of being placed on a pedestal by others and himself, he begins to lose sense of what is real, appropriate, and reasonable. This physical state takes a toll on his mental state as well. The natives worshipped him and we read that he had the "power to charm of frighten rudimentary souls into an aggravated witch-dance in his honor" (296). Here we see how he is beginning to believe in his greatness simply because that is all he gets from the natives. He is proof that if we hear something long enough, we will start to believe it, regardless if it is true or not. Kurtz had no reason to doubt these people and with no one else to question his or their sanity, it was easier to simply go along with the crowd. This was not the only thing play, however. Kurtz had a passion that would not be quelled and that was what drove him to become the man he was. He literally sold his soul to have the power he did in the Amazon."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowers, Terence. "Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Dante's Inferno." The Explicator. 2004. 62.2. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed July 26, 2009.
  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Cassill, R. V. Ed. 1981.
  • Florence H. Ridley. "The Ultimate Meaning of Heart of Darkness." Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 18, No. 1, June, 1963. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed July 26, 2009. < http://galenet.galegroup.com>
  • Jervis, John. Transgressing the Modern. Wiley-Blackwell. 1999.
  • Adam Gillon, "The Appalling Face of a Glimpsed Truth: 'Heart of Darkness.'" Short Stories for Students. 1982. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed July 26, 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com>

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

"Heart of Darkness": A Cautionary Tale (2011, December 30) Retrieved June 03, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/heart-of-darkness-a-cautionary-tale-149763/

MLA Format

""Heart of Darkness": A Cautionary Tale" 30 December 2011. Web. 03 June. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/heart-of-darkness-a-cautionary-tale-149763/>