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Joseph Conrad

• Was born in Poland (now in the Ukraine) in 1857.
• He travelled to Marseilles in France, and for the next 4 years worked on French ships. He then entered the British merchant navy.
• In 1896 married Jessie George with had 2 sons.
• Wrote 13 novels, 2 volumes of memories and 28 short stories.
• Conrad died in Kent in 1924

Heart of Darkness

• With this book, Conrad speaks of the colonialism characteristic of 19th-Europe
• He defines Africa like the dark continent because men think only to economic advantages.

• Conrad refers to all Europe and not only to England, in fact Marlow meets a Russian, a German, a Dutch and a Swede and the company where he works is Belgian.
• There are several levels of analysis: 1) the first is that Conrad critics colonialism describing the actions of the West towards the African continent.
2) Kurtz describes how an intelligent man, in part moved by ideals sincere at the beginning, but in the end there is not resist the temptation of absolute power that the natives have attributed.
3) Some think it's pro-colonialism
• There are so many interpretations, this work is therefore a mystery
• Everything is dark according to the author, the human heart, the forest and the people.
• Conrad uses twice the image of river: at first to describe how is difficult to penetrate in the man's soul and heart and, at the end, he compares Kurz's life to water of the river that leaves slowly.
• It is a long flashback because Marlow tells the story during another trip.
• There are two narrators: Marlow tells the story at the beginning and a narrator describing the character of Marlow
• Frequent use of personification and figurative language to create the atmosphere.

Marlow has always been fascinated by Africa and his dream was to visit it. so he starts to work for a Belgian company and leaves to Congo where he must repair a ferry. it was a very long journey and what was an empty and lovely place, became gloomy. he arrived to the headquarter of the company, which dealt with the business of ivory.
Kurz was the boss of a commercial station and he didn't return home for long time because he became the head of a tribe Marlow went upstream the river with effort (it'll bring him to Kurz). just arrived, Marlow and the others were attached by Indians: their only aim was to bring back Kurz, ma he dies during the journey. before dying, Kurz confides in Marlow and his last words were the horror.
Kurz's wife asked Marlow what was her husband's words and he, being afraid to say the truth, answered that he said his wife's name. Power and success have brought Kurz to the madness.
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