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Heart of Darkness Prezi

Overall Meaning
by

Colleen Bruso

on 29 April 2013

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Transcript of Heart of Darkness Prezi

Overall Meaning
~ by Mrs. Bruso Heart of Darkness Conrad became a British merchant sailor & eventually a master mariner and citizen in 1886.
He took on a stint as a steamer captain (1890) in the Congo, but became ill within three months and had to leave.
With the help of a relative in Brussels, he got the position as captain of a steamer for a Belgian trading company.
Conrad had always dreamed of sailing the Congo.
He had to leave early for the job, the previous captain was killed in a trivial quarrel.
While traveling from Boma (at the mouth) to the company station at Matadi he met Roger Casement who told Conrad stories of the
harsh treatment of Africans. Imperialism & Colonialism Joseph Conrad's Life Conrad saw some of the most shocking and depraved examples of human corruption he’d ever witnessed. He was disgusted by the ill treatment of the natives, the scrabble for loot, the terrible heat & the lack of water.
He saw human skeletons of bodies left to rot - many were bodies of men from the chain gangs building the railroads.
He saw/witnessed brutality of the natives (murdering them for sport) by the British Imperialists - reflected in HOD, as the Company.
Marlow, represents Conrad's alter ego - his feelings clearly mirror Conrad's own feelings as he experienced the Belgium Congo firsthand - showing his disgust & shocking revelation of British Imperialism.
This is also reflected in the Motif - the corruption of power. Symbolism at the Heart of HOD Heart of Darkness - mentioned in the context of maps, where places of darkness have been colored in once they have been explored and settled by colonists.
The map is an important symbol. It is a guide, a record of exploration. IF incomplete, it has a dual purpose - to unlock mysteries laying out the geography of unknown lands & to create new mystery about the unknown & only partly known.
The river is another important symbol, perhaps our first symbol of the “heart,” which is itself a symbol of the human spirit. Always moving, not predictable, the gateway to a wider world, it is an excellent metaphor for Marlow's journey. Marlow says that as a child he had a "passion" for maps, for the "glories of exploration." At it's Core, HOD Symbolizes: The contrast between the evil & good that exists within each of us.
It suggests that this choice of morality can fluctuate & is ever changing, not constant.
This is portrayed in HOD through the motif of Dark vs. Light, the corruption of power, civilization vs. savagery. Frame Story Narrative: Begins with an Unnamed Narrator to whom Marlow told his story (1 of 4 characters on the ship in Part I).
Marlow narrates his story - unreliable narrator b/c we must accept what he says as truth, when he could be lying at any time.
Switches back & forth between Unnamed Narrator & Marlow.
Nexus - Marlow's talking to Unnamed Narrator. *The structure mimics the oral tradition of storytelling: Readers settle down with the sailors on the boat to listen to Marlow's narrative.
Stations on the Journey to the HOD Each Station represents a closer look at the morality & ethical decisions that individuals/humanity faces.
Each one is closer to answering the question of if each of our individual decisions & actions are essentially good OR evil. Story Telling Aspect This basically summarizes the plot structure. Part I: Leading to the Outer Station Unnamed Narrator sets up the situation - the ship, the Nellie, is docked & 4 people sit on deck besides himself: the Director of Companies, the Lawyer, the Accountant, and Marlow.
He begins to introduce satire, making fun of how lazy & self-absorbed these characters seem to be.
He makes allusions to other imperialists from the past & mentions that there is something diff. about him - "he did not represent his class" (p.3).
It switches to Marlow's frame story (last paragraph p.3) & he is speaking to the other crew members about the Romans conquering Britain. "He pictures the cold, fog, disease, and battles with the savage natives they had to endure. He admires their courage to face the darkness. In the posture of a Buddha (p.4), he speaks about how they used only force and violence to get what they wanted. Conquests back then, he says, meant stealing from people who were different from you. He believes there is more needed to redeem mankind, something to 'bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to….' "
http://www.enotes.com/heart-of-darkness/section-summary-analysis "Toward the HOD" http://www.gradesaver.com/heart-of-darkness/study-guide/section1/ Part I: Continued... "[Marlow] begins to tell a story of one of his journeys. He says it reveals something about himself. "
"When he was young, he used to point to blank spaces on maps and say, 'When I grow up I will go there' (p.5). He’s visited most of them, except one. He calls Africa a 'place of darkness.'" To him, the Congo represents a blank map, a mystery, the unknown. He compares the Congo river on the map to a snake.
He gets the job, traveling to the Congo on a steamer b/c of his aunt's connections, which he can't believe that he needed the help of a woman (sexist).
Marlow says the company just discovered the death of one of their captains, Fresleven, by a native. His murder was over an argument about some black hens. Months later, when Marlow arrives, he uncovers Fresleven’s body, the grass growing over his remains. (p.6)
"In forty-eight hours Marlow crosses the Channel and presents himself to his employer. Knitting black wool, two women—one fat, the other thin—sit outside the office. A map on a wall pictures the world in many colors. Marlow mentions the yellow patch at dead center, his destination.
Marlow meets the secretary, signs his contract, and is told he must have a medical exam - where the doctor measures his head & mentions the motif of madness, "It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes [madness] of individuals on the spot, but..." (p.9); implying that the Congo makes men insane.
http://www.enotes.com/heart-of-darkness/section-summary-analysis Part I: Continued... "Marlow visits his aunt to thank her and say good-bye. He finds that his aunt had misrepresented him, as being more than he is. According to him, "all woman are out of touch with the truth" (sexist, p.9).
Foreshadowing - He feels hesitant about leaving Brussels for Africa, the “center of the earth” (p.10).
He leaves on a slow French steamer. It stops at many ports to unload soldiers and officers. The monotonous journey lulls Marlow into a depression.
Occasionally, a boat from shore paddled by natives interrupts the boredom. The steamer passes a French man-of-war ship shelling the coastline. They deliver mail to this ship. They also learn that the sailors aboard her were dying of fever at three a day. The steamer moves on, never stopping for Marlow to get a clear impression, except for “hints of nightmares” (p.11, motif of savagery & corruption of power).
It takes them 30 days to get to the "mouth of the river" (11-12).
"Marlow switches to a small sea-going steamer captained by a Swede to take him farther upstream. The captain tells him he had taken a fellow Swede recently up the river. The man had hanged himself. The captain cannot answer Marlow directly when he asks why. "
"When they reach the Outer Station, Marlow gets his first glimpse of Africa, the ivory trade, and the general waste & uselessness of the Company. Broken machinery and loose rails litter the ground.
Outer Station = p.12
Central Station = p.17
Inner Station = p.47 Part I: Continued... "Shocked, Marlow turns away from the chain gang & heads for the trees. Marlow avoids an artificial hole and nearly falls into a narrow ravine before reaching the shade. There, he discovers diseased, starving native men leaning against trees, dying" (p.13-14).
He says that, "it seemed to me I had stepped into the gloomy circle of some inferno" (14), making an allusion to Dante's Inferno & implying that so far what he's see of the outer edges of the Congo, the natives are treated like less than humans, like evil demons. Here, he's commenting on the symbolism of HOD, saying that man's essential nature is evil & selfish, discarding others' lives as replaceable.
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