Novels do not have to be long to have credible literary merit. Such is the case with Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness is quite short, yet superior and intriguing, due to the content of the novel.
Heart of Darkness is intriguing, like Hamlet or like a Kafka novel, in that readers taken by power of the story never feel quite satisfied with their attempts to intellectualize the experience (Adelman 8).
Heart of Darkness was written during the time of British imperialism and extreme exploitation of Africans in the Congo. The British were exploiting the Africans in an effort to extract ivory from the primitive jungle. Throughout the novel, Conrad expresses his dislike with the 'civilized' white people exploiting the 'savage' black Africans. Conrad also uses several literary devices in his writing to portray and express several messages. The writing style, techniques, structure and themes in Heart of Darkness all combine to create one of the most renowned, respected and mysterious novels of all time.
Conrad wrote an ultimate enigma for readers to interpret and critically analyze for years to come.
Conrad's excellence in style is very controversial; some believe that he is "a literary genius" (Adelman 16), while others "criticize him for being limited, pretentious and vague" ((Adelman 16). Throughout the novel, Conrad uses ample amounts of descriptive language, vivid imagery, and powerful symbolism. The vague part is that he leaves it up to the reader to interpret his mysterious and 'unspeakable' enigmas. Conrad's descriptive language in Heart of Darkness is present from the beginning to the end. With the opening paragraphs describing the Nellie, a "cruising yawl," the weather, the view of the Thames River and London as a group of men sit , waiting for the tide to change. Marlow is constantly describing...