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Heart of Darkness


Heart of Darkness Notes on the Theme of Transformation From Savagery to Civilization, and Back Rome conquers Europe, Europe conquers Africa Each country is ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness
  • Notes on the Theme of Transformation

From Savagery to Civilization, and Back
  • Rome conquers Europe, Europe conquers Africa
    Each country is transformed from savagery to
  • And this also has been one of the dark places of
    the earth. (p.67) England has been transformed
    from darkness into the light.

Setting / Tone
  • In the beginning, the Thames is placid,
    serene, tranquil (p.66) but the Congo grows
    gradually more menacing as they leave
    civilization, and near the heart of darkness.

Setting / Tone
  • The Companys Offices In the city that always
    makes me think of a whited sepulchre. (p73)
  • A sense of foreboding the doctors comments
    about insanity, the civilizing mission of the
    aunt, Freslevens quarrel.

Setting / Tone
  • The Companys Offices
  • An eerie feeling came over me. She seemed
    uncanny and fateful. Often far away there I
    thought of these two, guarding the door of
    Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall
    Ave! Old knitter of black wool. Morituri te
    salutant. (p.75)

Setting / Tone
  • Outer Station Sense of decay and absurdity.
  • rivers, streams of death in life, whose banks
    were rotting into mud, whose waters, thickend
    with slime, invaded the contorted mangroves that
    seemed to writhe at us in the extremity of an
    impotent despair. (p.80)

Setting / Tone
  • Outer Station
  • Sense of decay and absurdity.
  • The man-o-war shells the bush
  • The well-dressed accountant is frustrated by the
    cries of the dying natives.
  • The introduction of slavery, brutality, sickness,
    and death.

Setting / Tone
  • Central Station
  • Sense of chaos, confusion, and frustration.
  • Marlows boat is sunk.
  • No rivets for repairs
  • Long delay
  • Corruption of the Pilgrims, the Manager, the

Setting / Tone
  • Inner Station
  • Sense of danger and lurking insanity.
  • Fog confusion and lack of vision
  • They are attacked and the helmsman is killed
  • They are greeted by a harlequin, heads on stakes,
    savagery, and the madness of Kurtz

Setting / Tone
  • The Twist Returning to civilization Marlow
    finds it transformed I found myself back in the
    sepulchral city resenting the sight of people
    hurrying through the streets to filch a little
    money from each other They were intruders whose
    knowledge of life was to me an irritating
    pretence (p. 156)

Setting / Tone
  • The Twist Even the placid and pacifical
    Thames is transformed The offing was barred by
    a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway
    leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed
    sombre under an overcast sky seemed to lead
    into the heart of an immense darkness. (p. 164)

  • Marlow is shown savagery, and chooses it over
    civilization (prefers Kurtzs evil to the
  • He is shown madness, but chooses sanity
  • He is shown the truth, (the horror) and chooses a
    lie (his message to the Intended).

  • Marlows reflection on the journey
  • I dont want to bother you much with what
    happened to me personally, yet to understand the
    effect of it on me you ought to know how I got
    out there, what I saw, how I went up that river
    to the place where I first met the poor chap.
    (p. 70)

  • 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 and into my thoughts. It was sombre
    enough, too and pitiful not extraordinary in
    any way not very clear either. No, not very
    clear. And yet it seemed to throw a kind of
    light. (p.70)

  • Kurtz Begins as a promising man, a universal
    genius (p.157) who could get himself to believe
    anything anything.
  • Sees the edge of sanity and crosses over
  • He has the ability to persuade and influence men
    accepts the role of God and is consumed by it.
  • (Elements of Tragedy)

  • Kurtz as Tragic Hero
  • Great man with promise
  • Hamartia (fatal flaw)
  • Leads to his inevitable downfall death.
  • Can you think of another tragic character like

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