Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad written in 1899. Once you have read it you definitely will want to write a Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’. The book discusses a voyage by Charles Marlow up the Congo River as a captain of a Steamer. The inspiration for the story was drawn from the writer’s very own life story. He worked with a boat steamer for a Belgian ivory trading firm, similar to the portrayal of Charles Marlow.
The tale begins with three guys aboard a ship, Nellie that is drifting on the river Thames. Among the men is Charles Marlow. He starts to recollect and tells the tale of his trip to Africa. On the other hand, calls London and Europe among the darkest put on earth as a result of the atrocities that colonization brought with it.
Charles Marlow is the main character of the story. He is a highly ambitious and well-informed young man depicted as a thoughtful, sympathetic, and kind person. As a seaman, he is really passionate about taking a trip, discovering and meeting new people. His philosophical nature mostly manifests through his inner discussion, with him challenging the perception of whether individuals he meets, typically known as “calorizators”, can be seen as civil, or have a name that befits them. Charles is likewise very unconvinced and interested in the events and individuals that surround him.
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3 Stations Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’:
To compile a concise yet all-inclusive Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, one must intensively analyze the three main sections known as the Outer Station, Central Station, and the Inner Station.
#1 Outer Station
Charles is hired by an ivory trading firm in Brussels, which is simply called “the Company”. They result in sending him to Congo as the captain of a steam river boat.
When he gets here to the initial station, called Outer Station, he sees all of the horrors behind the business in ivory. He witnesses Africans in thick chains, with worn-down faces, and exhausted bodies. He additionally sees that they are dealt with like objects and not people. They are servants to the white people in charge, contrary to their will. He is astonished by everything he witnesses.
#2 Central Station: Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness
After obtaining acquainted with the state of things at the Outer Station, he goes up the Congo River to the Central Station where his team boat awaits him. At Central Station, he satisfies the General Manager, who is a cool and calculating man. The General Manager treats his slaves also worse than they are being treated at the Outer Station. He is indifferent to their sufferings. He stops working to feed them, works them to exhaustion and even death, and always keeps them manacled.
The General Manager tells Marlow that his boat is broken, and he cannot use it. Marlow is brokenhearted. He is meant to bring products to Kurtz-– the Manager of the Inner Terminal that is known for his knowledge and also great company skills. He exports the most ivory out of all the stations. Marlow listens to some reports about Kurtz’s craziness, due to living so near the natives and for his techniques of job being fairly barbaric. Although he is cynical regarding the locals, and also does not pay much attention to them.
The Sabotaged Boat
Marlow repairs his boat tirelessly because he realizes that Kurtz and his people have no way of surviving without his aid. Marlow hears a very unpleasant discussion between the General Manager and his uncle, that concerns the Central Station with another trade expedition. General Manager states that he wants to hang Kurtz and also his assistant to get rid of his greatest competitor in the ivory trade business. Afterwards conversation, Marlow understands that his ship was not just broken, but was tampered with in an act of sabotage. Since the General Manager wants Kurtz dead, he wishes to rob him of essential resources and leave him for dead. Marlow realizes what a horrible human being the General Manager is.
While at the Central Station, Marlow meets the Brickmaker. He is one of the most faithful representatives of the General Manager. He just cares about his very own career, wide range and also desires to achieve his objectives in any way possible. Additionally, he considers Kurtz a threat and, like the General Manager, wants him dead and also out of his way. Marlow observes his rotten soul and remarks this concerning him:
“I let him run on, this papier-mache Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my fore-finger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.” (p.68)
By comparing the Brickmaker’s innards to some loosened dust, this very derogatory understanding of his character depicts him as a person of a really low character.
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We also suggest that you review a 1984 summary, George Orwell’s anti-utopian book.
#3 Inner Station. Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness
Marlow finally repairs his ship. Marlow, together with a team of locals (that also take place to be cannibals), and also the General Manager leave to bring supplies to Kurtz. Along the way, they go through a part of the river covered in thick haze. Instantly, they realize they are under attack: the natives are shooting many arrowheads at them from the shore by the citizens. Marlow tries to scare them away with the boat whistle, but before the assailants retreat, they end up eliminating one of the Africans on the boat.
Lastly, Marlow and his boat show up at the Inner Station where they meet the Russian merchant. He is a traveller and enthusiast who is fascinated by Kurtz. The former also admires what Kurtz has achieved below, in the forest. The man seems to be really energized and talkative. He has been assisting Kurtz with every one of his responsibilities at the terminal. Claims abound that he is truly informed by Kurtz’s wisdom. He also confesses he is influenced by his good character. Marlow also says that Kurtz is attempting to make locals much more civil, and they treat him like a god. The Russian seems to be obsessed with Kurtz:
” I tell you,” he cried, “this man has enlarged my mind.” (p. 85).
When Marlow and others inquire about the reports of Kurtz’s craziness and the barbarian methods of ivory collection, the Russian denies everything. When he and Marlow are alone, he persuades him to think that Kurtz is a great man, regardless of anything he might have listened to. Marlow notifications many severed heads atop spears around the Russian’s house. He starts to believe the story regarding Kurtz’s insanity.
Kurtz Gets Ill
They find out that Kurtz is deathly ill inside the station. They bring him out on a stretcher; however, he leaves and crawls back to the local inhabitant’s camp. The Russian informs Marlow that Kurtz feels he has turned into one of the natives inside and does not want to return to Europe. He also confesses that Kurtz was the one that purchased the belonging to strike the steamboat, hoping they would turn around and think that Kurtz had passed away currently. After witnessing all this, Marlow believes:
“There was something wanting in him — some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last — only at the very last. But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude — and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.” (p. 113)
Although Marlow recognizes that Kurtz is a wonderful Manager and brings a great deal of cash to the Company, he admits that he has gone insane. It is hard to evaluate what exactly made Kurtz end up this way, however, it is absolutely a part of his real identity now. Marlow’s words recommend that a guy, that was once ambitious, kind, skilled and clever, is now “hollow at the core”.
Summary of the Journey Home in J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness
Lastly, Marlow convinces Kurtz to go back to Europe. Throughout the journey back he grows weaker and weaker. One day, he hands Marlow all the documents he accumulated throughout the years in Africa. Marlow takes the issue really seriously and feels honoured to obtain these files. Regrettably, a couple of days later, Kurtz dies. His last words are:
” The horror! The horror!” (p. 125).
The expression still elicits a lot of arguments; it may refer to the horrors he saw in uncivilized Africa or horrors he saw produced by white colonizers that abused their power and abused natives.
When Marlow returns, he determines to give Kurtz’s writing to Kurtz’s fiancée. He thought about giving them to a journalist, or a man who claims to be Kurtz’s sibling. However, he is frightened that they would threaten Kurtz’s career. Besides, they could also smear his name.
A Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness: Epilogue
The tale ends with the very same three males on a boat. They drift on a peaceful Thames River. Among the three men, who doubles up as the Narrator, after listening to Kurtz’s story believe himself:
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.” (p.144)
This quote suggests that the Storyteller, most likely Joseph Conrad himself, takes into consideration England an extremely dark area, “the heart of an immense darkness”. The wrong of European colonization and barbarian imperialistic views reveal the other side of the coin– the heart of darkness remains in England, not in the wild and uncivilized forests.
As we come to the end of the post Summary of J. Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ captures a distinct story showcasing European imperialist concepts in the 19th -20th century. It gives the viewers a glimpse into a globe that is terrible, corrupt, and inhumane. It uncovers the lid of several of the dirtiest and also darkest parts of people’s souls: their greed and wish to climb the occupation ladder whilst squashing any person who enters their way, like General Manager and the Brickmaker. The tale additionally presents some inspired and bright people like Marlow and also the Russians. And most importantly, Kurtz’s character is the author’s way of revealing what might happen if European and African attitudes mix together to drive a person to craziness.
Joseph Conrad dealt with a lot of criticism in his time and after his demise. People accused him of being racist and of supporting imperialist views. Though, one must treat the story entirely as an outstanding summary of the writer’s modern society, and also as a criticism of intended civilized Europeans. In fact, the writer attracts the final thought that white European colonizers. He highlights the means they treat Africans, is as savage as they thought the Africans themselves were. due to how savage and cruel they were.
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