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Heart of Darkness


Heart of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Introduction – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness
  • By Joseph Conrad
  • Introduction

Early Life
  • Józef Teodor Conrad Korzeniowski was born on 3
    December 1857 in the Russian occupied city of
    Berdyczów, Ukraine. His parents were members of
    the Polish nobility and lived in the Ukraine
    under Tsarist autocracy. In 1861 Josephs
    nationalist father, who was an outspoken
    supporter of the serfs and critic of Polands
    oppressors, was arrested along with his wife for
    being involved with the Polish National
    Committees anti-Russian activities.

Early Life Continued
  • They and four-year old Joseph were exiled to the
    province of Vologda in Northern Russia. The
    living conditions and harsh climate took their
    toll on Josephs parents they both contracted
    tuberculosis, Evelina dying of it in 1865, Apollo
    in 1869. He was celebrated at his death by the
    Poles in patriotic honour.

11 year-old orphan
  • Shaken from their deaths and also suffering from
    various health problems that would plague him for
    the rest of his life, at the age of twelve Joseph
    became the ward of his maternal uncle Tadeusz
    Bobrowski (d.1894), a landowner who lived in
    Cracow, Poland. He would be a great support to
    Joseph morally and financially for many years to

  • As well as speaking Polish, Joseph had been
    taught French by his governess Mlle. Durand and
    received some schooling from his father. Now his
    uncle hired a student from Cracow University to
    continue his education, tutoring him in Latin,
    Greek, geography, and mathematics.

The Roots of HOD
  • He was involved with gunrunning and smuggling for
    a time, and in the off hours incurred a number of
    gambling debts. When he could not repay them he
    attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself
    in the chest. He survived and his uncle paid off
    his debts but he lost his position with the
    French merchants so joined the English ship
    Mavis in 1878.
  • Two years later he passed his third mates exam
    and in 1886 earned his Masters certificate in
    the British Merchant Service and became a British
    Citizen. It was at this time that he changed his
    name to Joseph Conrad.

Travelled to the Belgian Congo
  • The harsh conditions of travelling to the Congo
    Free State and working on a paddle-steamer
    aggravated Conrads already at-times fragile
    health. He suffered gout and had periods of
    depression for many years. He returned to England
    weakened and suffering from fever and was
    hospitalized. While his sense of humor and irony
    was intact, the Congo had also caused a profound
    effect on his emotional health.

  • Map from 1918

Writing Career
  • Having now retired from the sea he settled in
    Kent County, England. Almayers Folly (1895) was
    published to mixed reviews though mostly
  • In March of 1896 he married Jessie Emmeline
    George (1873-1936) with whom he would have two
    sons, Borys (b.1898) and John (b.1906).
  • Now that Conrad was retired and earnestly
    writing, he had numerous works first serialized
    in such publications as Blackwoods, Munseys and
    Harpers. Other works published around this time
    include An Outcast of the Islands (1896), The
    Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Tales of Unrest
    (1898), Lord Jim (1900), collaborations with Ford
    Madox Ford The Inheritors (1901) and Romance
    (1903), Youth (1902), The End of the Tether
    (1902), Typhoon (1903), Nostromo (1904), The
    Mirror of the Sea (1906, semi-autobiographical),
    The Secret Agent (1907), A Set of Six (1908), and
    Under Western Eyes (1911).

  • Conrad with his son Borys

This is a picture of a yawl
River Steam Boat
  • Although he was now receiving a pension Conrad
    suffered financial difficulties for a number of
    years it was with the immediate commercial
    success of Chance (1914) that was a turning point
    for him.

Death and Honors
  • On 3 August 1924 Joseph Conrad died at home of a
    heart attack. Although a skeptic much of his life
    he was given a Roman Catholic service at St.
    Thomass and now rests with his wife Jessie in
    the Westgate Court Avenue public cemetery in
    Canterbury, England. His name is carved into the
    massive rough-hewn grave stone as was given at
    his birth, Joseph Teodor Conrad Korzeniowski. The
    epitaph carved below, also the epigraph for The
    Rover is from Edmund Spensers The Faerie Queen
    and reads
  • Sleep After Toyle, Port After Stormie Seas, Ease
    After Warre,Death After Life Does Greatly Please

Heart of Darkness
  • Before its 1902 publication, it was serialized in
    three installments in Blackwoods Magazine.
  • Tells the story of a narrator named Charlie
    Marlow and his journey to the Belgian Congo.
  • His mission is to find an ivory trader named
    Kurtz and bring him back to civilization.
  • Charlie Marlow tells the story to a group of men
    who are on the Thames River.

Elements of the Novella
  • The narrative structure is a frame story or a
    story within a story.
  • It contains the motifs of
  • a. spiritual-moral darkness/lightness
  • b. interior vs exterior
  • c. the duality of human nature
  • d. corporate greed in the cloak of morality

Archetypal modern novel because it contains these
  • Realism(Marlow describes horrible images
  • Psychological elements (who is crazy?)
  • Mythical elements (Kurtz as a god)
  • Political themes (the politics of Kurtz and what
    it says about European expansion
  • Symbolism(light and dark, London and the Congo,
    Marlow and Kurtz, ignorant vs imperial)

  • Monument to Joseph Conrad
  • Anchor-shaped and shaped like the prow of a ship.
    Conrad monument in Gdynia, on Poland's Baltic
  • ("Nothing is so seductive, so disillusioning or
    so enthralling as life on the sea").
  • Grave stone in Canterbury City Cemetery, Kent,

Web Resources
  • http//www.moreorless.au.com/killers/leopold.html
  • http//www.literaturepage.com/read/heart-of-darkne
  • Consider this quote from the king "Our only
    program, I am anxious to repeat, is the work of
    moral and material regeneration, and we must do
    this among a population whose degeneration in its
    inherited conditions it is difficult to measure.
    The many horrors and atrocities which disgrace
    humanity give way little by little before our
    intervention. King Leopold II
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