This article starts out by talking about the original publication of Joesph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. We get a little insight on the historical backround and how Conrad plays an influential role in the progress of the twentieth-century literary history. Mr.
Kevin Artell, the author of the article, "Overview fo Heart of Darkness" believes that there are two main ways to approach the interpretation of the Heart of Darkness. The first way critics interpret the novel is to focus on the fasinations with European colonialism in Africa and all around the world, and the second interpretation was to be centered on his exploration of the more abstract and philosophical issues regarding human conditions and the nature of Good and Evil.
Mr. Attell, turns to the twentieth century to talk about it being a period of intense colonial activity for most countries in Europe. He talks about how the colonial times was refered to as the countless times of Heart of Darkness.
The author gives direct examples from the book and how it relates to his point, "a large shining map, marked with all the colors of the rainbow. There he said, a vast amount of red..."What he means is that it all represents the colors of the flags of countries in Europe at the time and how it symboically sets the presence up in relation to colonialism in Europe.
The second half of the article talks about his last point of of view and his main ideas of Modernism. Conrad believes that success is made by certain philosophical problems which become central to the literary movement which is Modernism. He says, "Modernism had its peak in the years between World War I and World War II.
Some of the most illustrative examples in the book that reflect this idea is when Conrad introduces these Modernistic concerns through Marlows narration where the actual question of "meaning" arises.
The main ideas of this article is the debate over whether Heart of Darkness should be interpreted in terms of either colonial and historical or philosophical really is tough. It seems abstract to think that the philospohical problems only occur in the colonial days involving language and truth which he says only arises out of concrete problems. At the same time the concrete problems of colonial domination occur during the twentieth century have the same philosophical implications.