Heart of Darkness Themes Essay

1659 Words Nov 29th, 2012 7 Pages
Jacob Lachini
Ms. Batten
ENG 4U1-03
Monday, October 29th, 2012.

Literary Criticisms in Relation to Heart of Darkness

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world -- in order to set up a shadow world of ''meanings,” Susan Sontag. It is a persons interpretation of any form of literary work that defines itself, what the author intends a reader to discover may be completely different from what the reader interprets. In the novel, The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, a reader can understand and identify the thematic aspects of the novel by studying the literary criticism theories of historicism,
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Marlow believes he was changing in the way the doctor stated, “He was very anxious for me to kill somebody, but there wasn't the shadow of a carrier near. I remembered the old doctor -- 'It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot.' I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting. However, all that is to no purpose” (Pg. 86). By understanding Marlow’s mindset and change, readers can benefit from this and grasp a better understanding of what the author wants the readers to understand in the novel. Marlow detests lies, however in the novel, this is contradicted, by understanding why Marlow contradicts himself, readers can identify the moral meaning of why he lies in representation of the author. Marlow describes his hatred for lies, “You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies -- which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world” (Pg. 96). If a reader can understand why Marlow hates lies but why he ends up contradicting himself in the novel, readers can further identify why the author portrays this behaviour through Marlow. Marlow is concerned about Kurtz’s well being on his journey, by analyzing Marlow’s conspicuous concerns, readers can better understand why Marlow is concerned for someone he

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