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Akilah Chandler, Richard Belleville, Christopher Abeleda, Moon Chraibi Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Historical/Biographical Context
Lesson Essential Question: • How does Joseph Conrad’s historical background enhance the theme and thematic concepts?
Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski December 3, 1857 – August 3, 1924 • Born in: Berdichev, Ukrain • Only child born to Evelina Bobrowska and Apollo Korzeniowski • Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski and spent his early childhood in Russia with his parents. His father, a Polish poet was in exile. • His father also translated Victory Hugo from French, Dickens and Shakespeare from English into Polish. • Orphaned at age 12, Joseph was raised by an uncle.
About the Author cont. • At age 17 Joseph joined the merchant marines sailing to the West Indies. His adventures were the settings for some of his works. • At 21 Conrad got a job as a deck hand on a British freighter. He spent 16 years with the British merchant navy. • In 1886 Conrad became a British subject and commanded his first boat in 1888.
About the Author Cont. • 1861 Joseph’s nationalist father - outspoken supporter of the serfs and critic of Poland’s oppressors - arrested along with his wife for being involved with the Polish National Committee’s anti-Russian activities; exiled to the province of Vologda in Northern Russia • Living conditions and harsh climate took their toll on Joseph’s parents: they both contracted tuberculosis
About the Author cont. • Commanding a steamboat on the Congo River was later developed in Heart of Darkness. • Conrad’s experience in gunrunning and political conspiracy were fictionalized in his novel The Arrow of Gold. • Conrad’s first novel, Almayer’s Folly was published in 1895. In 1896 he met Jessie George, married her and gave up the sea to start writing full time.
About the Author cont. • Wrote stories and novels, predominantly with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit by the demands of duty and honor • Master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature: psychological realism, modernism • Conrad in his private life was predominantly conservative • Maintained a deep abhorrence for socialism and democracy • Held a patronizing attitude toward the common folk.
About the Author cont. • Joseph became the ward of his maternal uncle Tadeusz Bobrowski following parental death; landowner who lived in Cracow, Poland • As well as speaking Polish, Joseph had been taught French by his governess Mlle. Durand and received some schooling from his father • Uncle hired a student from Cracow University to continue his education, tutoring him in Latin, Greek, geography, and mathematics although Joseph disliked the formality of lessons • Yearned to travel on the seas and go to the ‘dark continent’ of Africa
About the Author cont. • 1874 Conrad travelled to port town of Marseilles in southern France • Able to find employment with several French vessels over the next four years • Beginning of his fifteen year career as seaman during which he would meet so many of the men who would figure largely in his works • Harsh conditions of traveling to the Congo Free State and working on a paddle-steamer aggravated Conrad’s fragile health • Suffered gout and had periods of depression
Russia • Conrad was born in the Kiev Governorate, a section of the Russian Empire and today a part of the Ukraine. • Alexander II ascended the throne shortly before Conrad was born, in a time during which many called for reform of serfdom. • In 1861, all serfs in the Russian Empire were emancipated, the single most important event in 19th century Russia. Alexander II
Russia cont. • The flow of newly-free serfs out of the country brought a boost to urban areas, increasing industrialization. • In 1881, Alexander II was assassinated by a terrorist organization, leaving the throne to his son, Alexander III, who was extremely conservative and believed in traditional Eastern Russian values. Alexander III
The British Empire • At its height, it was the largest Empire in history. • Between 1815 and 1914, roughly 10,000,000 square miles and 400 million people were added to the Empire. • The steamship and the telegraph allowed the Empire to maintain infrastructure across vast distances. • Throughout the 19th century, Britain and Russia acted as rivals against each other in what came to be known as the "Great Game.“
The British Empire cont. • The pair of powers attempted to gain the power of the declining Ottoman, Persian, and Qing Chinese Empires. • In 1853, Britain and France jointly attacked the Crimean Peninsula to cripple Russia's naval capabilities. This brought about the four-year Crimean War. • The rivalry ended in 1878 when the two nations signed the Anglo-Russian Entente, deciding the boundaries of each nation's spheres of influence.
The Belgian Congo Former Belgian Congo
The Belgian Congo • The Belgian Congo was the first colonial holding belonging to Belgium. • It was awarded to Belgium during the Berlin Conference in 1885 • The land and its native people were commercially exploited by Leopold II, king of the Belgians for rubber, copper, and other minerals.
The Belgian Congo cont. • In the early 1900's, the press exposed the poor conditions to the public and an International Inquiry was started. • The exploitation of the natives has been called "One of the greatest man-made humanitarian disasters of all time."
The Congo River Congo River
The Congo River Congo River
Quiz Time!!!!! Q U I Z Questions will be answered in groups
Question 1 • Name two popular notable works of Josef Conrad.A. Heart of Darkness and Time Out Of JointB. The Beautiful and Damned and Heart of DarknessC. Nostromo and Lord JimD. Addicted and False Memory
Question 2 • Mlle Durand, who taught him French, was…A. AuntB. MotherC. GovernessD. Friend of the family
Question 3 • What did Conrad address Africa as?A. The Dark ContinentB. The Other continentC. That thing over thereD. The Continent full of secrets
Question 4 • Name two popular authors that Conrad read and enjoyed (mentioned in PowerPoint).
Question 5 • When did Conrad first come to France?A. 1874B. 1867C. 1879D. 2013
Question 6 • How long did his seaman career last?A. 15 yearsB. 12 yearsC. 20 yearsD. Till he died
Question 7 • Where were the vessels he worked for from during his first 4 years?A. GermanyB. EnglandC. DutchD. France
Question 8 • Name two major themes of his works mentioned in this PowerPoint
Question 9 • How did he meet many of the men who would figure largely in his works?A. After his seaman careerB. When he moved to CongoC. As a seamanD. When he visited Japan
Question 10 • Did his health suffer drastically while working?A. YesB. No
Question 11 • What part of the Russian Empire was he born in?A. SlovakiaB. SloveniaC. UkraineD. Kirghizstan
Question 12 • What was the single important event in 19th century Russia?A. The last Czar diedB. The serfs were set freeC. Women could walk outside without a manD. Russia invented Vodka
Question 13 • When did this big event happen?A. 1873B. 1861C. 1823D. 1845
Question 14 • What invention allowed the British Empire to maintain infrastructure across vast distances?A. TelephoneB. TelegramC. SteamshipD. Planes
Question 15 • What two countries were involved in the Great Game?A. England and RussiaB. England and FranceC. Russia and ChinaD. Italy and Germany
Question 16 • The Ottoman, Persian, and Qing Chinese Empires were gaining strength during this timeA. TrueB. False
Question 17 • Who colonized the Congo?A. FranceB. ItalyC. EnglandD. Belgium
Question 18 • Rubber and Copper were exploited by the colonizing countryA. YesB. No
Question 19 • Why was the International Inquiry started?A. Poor living conditions were shown to the publicB. Slavery ended C. New trend at the time to start international alliancesD. The colonizing country left Congo
Question 20 • The exploitation of the natives has been called "One of the greatest man-made humanitarian ideas of all time.”A. True B. False
Question 21 • Conrad was the oldest of three kids?A. TrueB. False
Question 22 • Though a born Russian, Conrad acquired what form of citizenship?A. GermanB. BritishC. AmericanD. French
Question 23 • Russia and Britain decided the boundaries of their spheres of influence in what agreement?A. Treaty of ParisB. Triple EntenteC. The Great Game TreatyD. Anglo-Russian Entente
Question 24 • The former Belgian Congo is now…A. The Congo RiverB. The Democratic Republic of the CongoC. The Congo BasinD. Republic of the Congo
Question 25 • In what conference was the former Belgian Congo acquired by BelgiumA. Belgian ConferenceB. Berlin ConferenceC. Anglo-Russian ConferenceD. The Belgian Congo was never officially given to Belgium
Answers • B • C • A • Victor Hugo, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens • A • A • D • human spirit by the demands of duty and honor, psychological realism, modernism genre • C • A • C • B • B • C • A • B • D • A • A • B • B • B • D • B • B
Works Cited • http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=4198 • http://rainforests.mongabay.com/congo/congo_river.html • http://stmhumanities.blogspot.com/2011/01/congo-river.html • http://www.online-literature.com/conrad/ • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Conrad