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Discussion of Heart of Darkness

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Discussion of Heart of Darkness

Post Number:#1  Postby Scott » 11 Apr 2008, 02:38

Please use this thread to discuss the April book of the month, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Do not read this thread until you have finished reading the book because this thread will contain spoilers.

What do you think of the book? I enjoyed reading it. It's shorter than I had realized.

What do you think of the story-within-a-story style? I found it interesting. By using the character Marlow to narrate the story, the story is narrated as if a person is actually recounting the story, which makes it feel more realistic and emotional. In other words, while reading the story, it felt as though someone was actually trying to recount events that had happened to himself.

What do you think of Kurtz? I enjoyed that a major part of the story is the build-up to the narrator, Marlow, meeting Kurtz. Kurtz had basically turned into a tyrant, wouldn't you say so? But I feel that we, the readers, are also made to admire Kurtz somewhat. Also, I feel sympathy for him not only when he cries about, "The Horror! The Horror!" but also when we learn that about his many talents and that he could have been a populist politician. What do you think?

I see the story as showing both the brutality of civilization and of primitivism. I suppose that is shown when Marlow refers to civilization as a lie. Also, we see the barbaric way that the Europeans exploit the natives. What do you think? What do you think the story says about human nature and the nature of human civilization?

If you have any questions that you want to ask the other readers, please post them. Also, please post any quotes or passages from the book that you especially like.

Last edited by Scott on 20 May 2008, 11:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Number:#2  Postby knightss » 13 Apr 2008, 10:08

I think that Kurtz character represented England itself. Especially the part where he says "My Intended, My Ivory, My River" (something like that). Kurtz represented the atrocities of European expansion. A few pages later it says that Kurtz was a man of Europe (because one parent was french and the other english) but i think is suppose to be taken literally by the reader as Kurtz is Europe.
Just a thought =)

more on the book to come when i have some time.
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Post Number:#3  Postby deasy » 09 Jun 2008, 19:30

I'm not too fond of this book. Heh, sorry if this is a little late to reply but I just got done with the book in class. I thought there was too much 'ominous'-ity that it got kind of boring for a while. And the style of the writing, jumping from place to place, lost me at times. I mean, you really had to focus on every word said or else you'd think you were in Africa when you were instead in Europe. :s

I do like the inner and outer frame narration as I've never read a book like that before. The story was so stuck on Marlow that you at times, you forget we're getting the story from someone else.

It's interesting what you said about Kurtz representing England itself, Knightss. It would make sense that he did.
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clifinar's question

Post Number:#4  Postby clifinar » 03 Jul 2008, 14:22

Do you know if there's an Hebrew translation?
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Post Number:#5  Postby lagym888 » 19 Mar 2010, 03:17

Hi Guys,

Just finished reading this book and I find it a worth-to-read.
I love different kind of stories and endings. Anyway, Thank you for sharing this information ;)
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Post Number:#6  Postby soniakhan33 » 08 Apr 2010, 03:17

It is very nice book. and worth reading.....
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Post Number:#7  Postby brownnataly21 » 08 Apr 2010, 05:08

I like the book too, but the name of the book corresponds to the contents. Everything was in dark colors for me. The book is deep and has lots of nice moments.
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Post Number:#8  Postby saniasen419 » 15 Jun 2010, 12:45

Joseph Conrad brings us a shocking tale of adventure into the very depths of the soul.
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Post Number:#9  Postby gavinol » 05 Aug 2010, 08:00

It is really nice story...
This novel exposes the myth behind colonisation whilst exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters--the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the European's cruel treatment of the natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil.
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Post Number:#10  Postby Fran » 05 Aug 2010, 09:55

I have always thought that one of the most interesting aspects Conrad raised in Heart of Darkness is the almost hypnotic attraction of the alien & the exotic and the risk to the colonist of 'going native' as the expression was. It is interesting to consider the different images drawn of the two women in the story. One appears cold & reserved and asexual whereas the African Queen is depicted as uninhibited, emotional and very much an erotic and sexual being.
Last edited by Fran on 25 Aug 2010, 14:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Number:#11  Postby tanvi02 » 25 Aug 2010, 05:45

i found this avery hard novel to understand....but if you ask about the character i liked kurtz because although he is atyrant,he is an epitome of power....that makes his personality appealing.....and yes kurtz represents european power.
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Post Number:#12  Postby Jhonehiks » 16 Dec 2010, 05:30

best one and also very interesting..
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Post Number:#13  Postby Jacinta » 17 Dec 2010, 19:41

Please can you tell me the next book of the month. i have just joined. Many thanks Jacinta
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Post Number:#14  Postby Fran » 18 Dec 2010, 06:10

Jacinta wrote:Please can you tell me the next book of the month. i have just joined. Many thanks Jacinta

The Road by Cormal McCarthy
Do a search for December Book of the Month & you can post your views on it
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Post Number:#15  Postby John Cooper » 06 Jan 2011, 14:45

I read this book first time and become fane of this series.
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