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Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Joseph Conrad 1857-1924. Conrad and Modernity. Conrad and Modernity. Conrad and Modernity. Conrad and Modernity.

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slide25

Heart of Darkness

The narrator thinks about all of the men and ships that have sailed out from the Thames into the ocean—”the great knights-errant of the sea”

(Longman Anthology, 2141)

slide26

Heart of Darkness

The narrator thinks about all of the men and ships that have sailed out from the Thames into the ocean—”the great knights-errant of the sea”

He mentions Sir Francis Drake, Captain of the Golden Hind, heroic “privateer” (or pirate) who attached Spanish ships returning from the Americas, stealing their gold and delivering a portion to Queen Elizabeth

(Longman Anthology, 2141)

slide27

Heart of Darkness

The narrator thinks about all of the men and ships that have sailed out from the Thames into the ocean—”the great knights-errant of the sea”

He mentions Sir Francis Drake, Captain of the Golden Hind, heroic “privateer” (or pirate) who attached Spanish ships returning from the Americas, stealing their gold and delivering a portion to Queen Elizabeth

He mentions Sir John Franklin, captain of an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845—this was a failed mission, Franklin and his crew never returned

(Longman Anthology, 2141)

slide28

Heart of Darkness

The narrator thinks about all of the men and ships that have sailed out from the Thames into the ocean—”the great knights-errant of the sea”

He mentions Sir Francis Drake, Captain of the Golden Hind, heroic “privateer” (or pirate) who attached Spanish ships returning from the Americas, stealing their gold and delivering a portion to Queen Elizabeth

He mentions Sir John Franklin, captain of an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845—this was a failed mission, Franklin and his crew never returned

Note the ambivalent character of these two examples—Drake is a hero, but also a thief; Franklin embarked upon a heroic mission, but the mission was a failure

(Longman Anthology, 2141)

slide29

Heart of Darkness

The narrator thinks about all of the men and ships that have sailed out from the Thames into the ocean—”the great knights-errant of the sea”

He mentions Sir Francis Drake, Captain of the Golden Hind, heroic “privateer” (or pirate) who attached Spanish ships returning from the Americas, stealing their gold and delivering a portion to Queen Elizabeth

He mentions Sir John Franklin, captain of an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845—this was a failed mission, Franklin and his crew never returned

Note the ambivalent character of these two examples—Drake is a hero, but also a thief; Franklin embarked upon a heroic mission, but the mission was a failure

Conrad’s narrator seems to be setting a tone of regret and repentance about the driving force of adventure and conquest

(Longman Anthology, 2141)

heart of darkness
Heart of Darkness
  • As the narrator finishes setting the scene, Marlow suddenly speaks:
    • And this also,” said Marlow suddenly, “has been one of the dark places of the earth.”
  • (Longman Anthology, 2141)
  • Marlow is referring to the experience of the Roman invaders, sent in A.D. 43 to take control of Britain, sailing up the Thames into what must have seemed like a wild, uncivilized place—cold, gray, dark—the opposite of the sun-drenched Mediterranean
slide31

Heart of Darkness

“Imagine the feelings of a commander of a fine . . . trireme in the Mediterranean, ordered suddenly to the north; run overland across the Gauls in a hurry . . . . Imagine him here—the very end of the world, a sea the colour of lead, a sky the colour of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a concertina—and going up this river with stores, or orders, or what yo like. Sandbanks, marshes, forests, savages—precious little to eat fit for a civilized man, nothing by Thames water to drink. . . . Here and there a military camp lost in a wilderness, like a needle in a bundle of hay—cold, fog, tempests, disease, exile, and death,--deth skuli\king in the air, in the water, in the bush. . . .

Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him,--all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There’s no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. The fascination of the aboniation—you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.”

(Longman Anthology, 2141)