By Cedric Watts

This ebook bargains a close dialogue of Conrad’s such a lot outstanding and challenging paintings. Many major points of Heart of Darkness are tested, from plot and characterisation to imagery and symbolism, and specific recognition is paid to its ambiguity and paradoxes. by means of concerning the textual content to a number of contexts, Cedric Watts explores Conrad’s imperative preoccupations as a author and as a commentator on his age. the 1st variation of this research seemed in 1977, and reviewers defined it as ‘criticism of the top order’ (Joseph Conrad Today) and ‘an very important book’ (Conradiana).

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Extra resources for Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: A Critical and Contextual Discussion (2nd Edition) (Conrad Studies, Volume 7)

Example text

34 &RQUDG·VHeart of Darkness The person who is reading the tale for the first time may well be outwitted by this; and the outwitting will be the more complete because of the absence of quotation-marks from the passage. As we will shortly learn from Marlow, some of these reflections were in fact uttered aloud to the group on the yawl; but, by avoiding quotation-marks and by using a pluperfect tense which equivocates between direct and reported speech, making a complex erlebte Rede, Conrad increases the possibility that the reader will be hoodwinked into false security, into thinking that the reflections offer a safe guide to the central attitudes of the author.

Why do you sigh in this beastly way, somebody? Absurd? Well, absurd. Good Lord! 0XVWQ·WDPDQHYHU² Here, gLYHPHVRPHWREDFFRµ There was a pause of profound stillness, then a match flared, DQG 0DUORZ·V OHDQ IDFH DSSHDUHG ZRUQ KROORZ ZLWK GRZQZDUG folds and dropped eyelids, with an aspect of concentrated attention; and as he took vigorous draws at his pipe, it seemed to retreat and advance out of the night in the regular flicker of the tiny flame. The match went out. ´$EVXUGµ KH FULHG ´7KLV LV WKH ZRUVW RI WU\LQJ WR WHOO    Here you all are, each moored with two good addresses, like a hulk with two anchors, a butcher round one corner, a policeman round another, excellent appetites, and temperature normal ² you hear ² QRUPDO IURP \HDU·V HQG WR \HDU·V HQG $QG \RX VD\ Absurd!

But what is said ² or almost chanted ² does contribute to strengths elsewhere. It does so by conditioning us to suspect the horrific beneath the outwardly normal, by invoking the image of a solar death, and by hinting at an antipathy between the strivLQJVRIPHQDQGWKHSURFHVVHVRIWKHFRVPRVDQGWKHSKUDVH´DGXOOUHG ZLWKRXW UD\V DQG ZLWKRXW KHDWµ ILQHO\ FRQQHFWV WKH HYHU\GD\ ZLWK WKH ultimate sunset. Then an apparent reassurance. The long sixth paragraph offers one RIWKHPRVWDFFRPSOLVKHG´IDOVHVWDUWVµLQOLWHUDWXUHIRULWVRXQGVPXFK like the introduction to a conventionally patriotic romantic narrative.

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