Heart of Darkness Final Analysis RapertAP Lit 3
- Slides: 13
Heart of Darkness Final Analysis Rapert/AP Lit 3
Part 3 What is the function of a lie? Scene w/Kurtz Wrestles him back to boat Death Final words Burial Ownership of papers
Part 3 Trip back-grows ill Alienated in civilized Brussels –whited sepulcher Disgusted by naïveté and hypocrisy-acceptance of the deceit Once he has seen the reality of the brutality, he cannot unsee Disgusted by mankind
Part 3 Intended Adoration of a lie That ideal we honor so-the lie we tell ourselves to avoid looking at the awful truth
Final analysis Heart is Conrad’s personal expression of despair-he saw the horror firsthand (“it is experience pushed only a little, and only a very little. ”) Colonization is “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the human conscience. ” (Conrad) Note the present frame: Thames in Londen (once a dark place) as compared to the story of the Congo.
4 Levels 1. Social 2. Individual 3. Political 4. Spiritual Seemingly inconclusive…sheds a little light---he is revealing an incredibly difficult truth.
Social/Political Meaning Denunciation of colonialism/imperialism/today’s corporatization Defined by Conrad as the consequence of the lust for power and possession—the source and epitome of man’s capacity for evil. Look back at grove of death scene: this is the effect of the “merry dance of death and trade” Human suffering on a remarkable scale.
Social/Political Meaning Idealism redeems or perverts it To live with ourselves we must lie to ourselves We are not Kurtz…we could never be Kurtz, could we? We all do benefit from people like Kurtz, however (all of Europe made Kurtz). All our hands have blood on them. Kurtz : even an angel is corrupted (without restraint) Given to the “fascination of the abomination”
Social/Political Meaning Report & Intended: Represents impossible ideals White society (Europe) holds itself as enlightened Arrogance on an extreme scale Man-real man w/o restraint falls Becomes HOLLOW, a chasm, a horrific perversion of his highest ideals
Journey into Self (individual) Allegory: man’s search inward for self & meaning Marlow is center –the one tested He resists his dark urges (as represented when he wrestles Kurtz back) He also resists temptations of others from company-manager, accountant, pilgrims Dreamlike quality (we were cut off from comprehension/ rest of the world was nowhere”) Fog scene-deaf, blind, engulfed in mind Kurtz is Marlow’s shadow Note possessiveness of Kurtz M feels Kurtz “kicked free of the earth”-potential for Marlow to become devoured by his urges TEST OF PERSONAL INTEGRITY AND SELF-CONTROL
Journey into Self (individual) Kurtz slipped free To own him is to own the Self-the truth of that Most cannot look Also We-civilized man- according to Conrad, have also kicked free of the earth in our domination God/earth/self-control Modern man has gone mad
Spiritual Nature & God Modern man/civilized man has defiled both “Co-mingling of desire and hate” We have become to powerful…but this power, too, is deception, for we destroy ourselves in the process. Fallen mankind Note-snake temptation Kurtz = Lucifer—both want to be god
Very applicable to war and globalization To win, one must commit the unimaginable The real war doesn’t get into the history books or the movies Globalization requires the exploitation of millions-and destruction of resources on a magnificent scale