Joseph Conrad (was not his true name) Born in the Ucraine under a very strong political influence. His parente were punished for patriottism and sent to a Russian village. He got pneumonia during the travel. He lost booth of his parents in youth and was brought up by a mathernal aunt. He join the merchantile , were he gain the grade of capitain. His first language was polish, french, english. Experience at see 1888--- first experience scilinguagnoli at Bangkok but was a complete disaster. He was forced to resign and got a job in a belgian company trough his aunts' reccommendation. (1890)His job was to be the capitain of a steamboat going up and down on the river Congo. The travel left him shocked and biecamente the plot of Heart of darkness. The travel was not only dangerous because of the natives, but also for the illnesses you could caught. Heart of darkness: Stands on the dividing line between the traditional and the modern novel Based on a autobiographical Heart= the very center of Africa, the center of feelings (in this case the negatives one) -savagery, thirst of power, greed, cruelty, Isolation Ethimology Darkness= the dark continent Africa, the opposite of light and enlightenment. The centre of Africa was rather unexplored, therefore it was not known scientifically, a continent of mistery. Colonialisation was meant to bring light to Africa and it meant to bring progress, civilisation science; belgiam colonisation did not bring any of theese to Congo, it was brutal and aimed at exploitation. The light which was not brought to Congo was perceived as darkness. It meant that this darkness reimporting darkness, meaning that Europe was unable to export an enlightened culture. Kurtz : he lived in isolation and lost the concept of civilisation, away from society man disco era his dark side. Traditional - social values and istitution are not rejected - denonciation of the brutality of colonialism( dickens, hardy) - 3rd person narrator Modern - the social values are inefficient - 3 narrators, 3 points of view (one member of the crew, Marlow, Kurtz), they are characters.---> refraction of the point of view, other characters presents their point of view----> reality in not 1 anymore, but multiple, analyse in - reality is each person's individual consciousness, so three are as many realities as three are people in the world. It goes at the same wavelenght of Einstein and Freud. - little or lack of action( the enphasis is not on what them do but on psychilogical analysis, that of Mr. Kurtz ) 1900 Interpretation of dreams was a trend. ----> voyage into the "self" - 2 characters alongside eachother : 1) Kurtz, the insane, the brutal, the savage 2) Marlow, who wonders if he could have become like Kurtz had he experience isolation As far as Stevenson did with his Dr JEkil and MR. hYde Symbolism - the travel trough Africa----> the voyage into the self - the fog----> reality was distorted, the reality you experience is the individual reality, also shadow and mist give a touch if mistery, which belongs to irrationality. In freudian term is the unconsciousness. He was strongly criticized by a Nigerian writer, Achebe Chinua, Who saw in Conrad the typical European with a mentality of colonialism, because he denies that the natives had their own culture, even if he strongly criticizes it. In fact when he described the cruelty of the ceremony in the Heart of jungle, he commits the typical sin of a European, considering it brutal sacrifice, represented as man without soul.
Conrad Joseph - Dark symbolism