The Heart of Darkness

By: Caitlin Harkins,Kandy Riddle,Ty'Daja Coleman,TeAsia Oden

Kandy's Heart of Darkness Essay

Danny Kaye once stated, “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” This assertion is associated with all who travels the world, because a journey will always imprint the individual in some shape or form. The novel, The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, reveals a journey into the dark jungle of Africa as well as a metaphorical adventure into the heart of the individual. In Conrad’s novel, Marlow’s adventure enlightens his inner meaning and ultimately reveal the darkness of the human heart.

Marlow’s journey of self discovery is seen by the comments he inserts while self-narrating his journey. The experiences of the Congo make Marlow wise, however, his experience have revealed the dark hearts of individuals. “Between us there was, as I have said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other’s yarns - and even convictions” (31). When the same people are stuck on a boat together for several months at a time, there is plenty of opportunity to explore one another. Marlow gets connected with the Congo, because once returning from a broken place, it is difficult to transfer to a place of wants instead of needs. A series of good versus evil is shown when the narrator states, “A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth” (37). The term, “mournful gloom” is used to provide a gothic sense to the audience. The “greatest place on earth” seems to be the opposite of great. Marlow grows a feeling of uneasiness as he begins to acknowledge his own fate. His experiences have brought upon an unclear clarity to his self discovery. Marlow’s experiences alter his identity and change him eternally.

Marlow views people and life in a different perspective due to what he learns from his journey. Sensitive to his surroundings, Marlow is more conservative to the darkness things or people may embody or hide. This is proved when Marlow is alarmed by the doctor's comments when he goes to the headquarters. His interpretation of the darkness is proven is the statement, “...a shadow darker than the shadow of the night” (51). The journey truly results in self-realization. Martin Tucker states, “Marlow’s greatest moment comes at the end of the story…” He is quite accurate, because by the end of the novel, Marlow is almost unable to reintegrate himself into society. Marlow asserts, “The other day I took up a man who hanged himself on the road. He was a Swede, too ‘Hanged himself! Why, in God’s name?’ I cried. He kept on looking out carefully. The sun too much for him or the country perhaps” (70). At this point, Marlow gets his first taste of danger when he discovers the sun has driven the Swede to suicide. This is a clear argument for nature making men, such as Marlow, go crazy. As Marlow discovers the actuality of others, he grows mad. As the fog uncovers the darkness of the human heart, Marlow becomes more like Kurtz.

Marlow’s adventure resolves in self discovery and finding the true meaning of the darkness in the heart. Regardless of where one may travel, the journey will impact the individual in more ways than one. In Marlow's case, it changes his character. He learns more about himself while he is learning about others and their way of living. He sees life so differently when he sees a place full of suffer and slaves. The people of the Congo are not living; they are just breathing. It is unknown if Marlow is being thoroughly truthful while announcing his story, however, most of it is true. This journey has changed Marlow's interpretation on life. There is a doom and dangerous darkness of the human heart.

Caitlin's Heart of Darkness Essay

In the novel the Heart of Darkness Marlow’s journey could have been interpreted in a few different ways by different people. Marlow describes in the novel that his encounter with Kurtz is a high point in his life. The journeys that Marlow goes through in the Heart of Darkness show who he is and who he has become throughout the novel. His journey can be saw as both a metaphorical journey and a literal journey into the jungle of Africa.

Marlow is a very serious and honest person. On his journey into the forbidden Congo, Marlow then encountered Kurtz. While reading you see that Marlow spends a lot of his time helping Kurtz. Marlow tells Kurtz that he is not a scum to the darkness like Kurtz is or every other person. As the novel goes on Marlow later learns who Kurtz is as a person, as well as learning about himself.

The journey Kurtz has went deeper than he ever thought it would. Marlow’s journey was a little different. Marlow went through so many things while he was in the Congo, and the result of this was the way he turned out.

"It was the farthest point of navigation and the culminating point of my experience. It seemed somehow to throw a kind of light on everything about me."

This is an example of some of the thoughts Marlow had while reading the Heart of Darkness.

Throughout the entire novel Marlow is basically obsessed with Kurtz. But in the very beginning it was different he didn't seem that found of him, once he finally meets him is when things changed for Marlow.

As the novel comes to an end you realize that Marlow has a certain kind of love for Kurtz. I believe that Marlow learns many different things about himself including Kurtz. Kurtz is the person who made Marlow who is now in my opinion.

TeAsia Oden's Heart of Darkness Essay

We all find ourselves, soon enough. Whether it is now or later in life. Marlow is very intelligent. In the beginning of "Heart of Darkness" Marlow is called a "meditating Buddha" because of his wise and philosophical characteristics. On Marlow’s journey throughout the book he learns more about himself,everyone’s dark side, and how sometimes the truth isn't always best.

As Marlow travels down the Congo River he finds himself while he's searching for Kurtz. “I had--for my sins, I suppose--to go through the ordeal of looking into it myself. No eloquence could have been so withering to one's belief in mankind as his final burst of sincerity.” Marlow is saying that he has sins and no one with a human soul can resist greed.

Throughout the novel Marlow also learns that everyone has a "dark side". Some can control theirs like himself and others give in to them like Kurtz. At the start of the novel we remember that Marlow admires Kurtz. Marlow watches Kurtz basically go crazy. Kurtz goes from a some what normal ambitious human being to a greedy,selfish, heartless animal. His obsession with ivory practically takes over him to the point where Marlow speaks of him in terms of ivory: his head "was like a ball—an ivory ball" (2.29) and after his last words he carries an "expression of somber pride" on his "ivory face" (3.42).

At the end of "Heart of Darkness" Marlow lies to Kurtz's fiancée. Kurtz's fiancée saw him as a noble Christian going into the abyss of the darkness to save the civilization. Which in fact was not true. Kurtz's embraced the darkness. He had a native mistress and killed other whenever he wanted to. Marlow is terrified by Kurtz's fiancée's thoughts about him. Although Marlow is avid about telling the truth he tells her what she wants to hear. He told her Kurtz's last words were her name.

While reading this novel a famous poet, motivational speaker and role model of mine , Maya Angelou's quotes came to me;"If someone shows you who they are believe them. To me this quote means people could tell you that they're one thing but their actions show another. Marlow's journey throughout the novel proved this statement to be true. He learned about himself, the true darkness in others, and that the truth is not always the best option.

TyDaja Coleman's Posionwood Bible Essay.


In the novel, The Poisonwood bible all of the characters changed in way whether is was the better or for the worst. Several things things happened that affected their views and personalities. in my opinion orleanna changed the most because at the beginning

As book one, Genesis starts orleanna starts out explaining about her 3 children and how one of them has a secret. “One only has the life of one’s own”. Orleanna has given her life to her daughters and her husband. she use to be so full of life. she described how much she adored the Okapi that was her favorite animal. Nathan, orleanna husband basically ripped them away from their home to go to Africa to pursue his dream of spreading the word of god, which is where things start to take a turn for the worse. Nathan plan did not go as smoothly as he had hoped he basically tried to force the Africans to get baptized and change their ways, telling them that their way was wrong . he was resented for that. Meanwhile orleanna was very much favored. he tried to have Easter on a normal Sunday as an attempt to get people to get baptized orleanna served fried chicken because that was all she had to feed everybody everyone one ate but no one got baptized. which was another one of his failed attempts Nathan was very unhappy.