Analysis of Heart of Darkness By: Tan Ly

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There are several important themes and ideas that make the novella, "A Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad, an unforgettable novel. The main theme is absolute power corrupts absolutely. The theme demonstrates the corruption and the enslavement caused by the white people as they took over the Congo. White men were giving all the power, they had no self-restraint, and in the end they did not use wisely. The white men became corrupt.

At the beginning of the novella Conrad gave us an excellent example of the main theme which is absolute power corrupts absolutely. Fresleven was the "gentlest and quietest creature that ever walked on two legs"(p. 92). Conrad uses this example to show how power corrupted even the kindest man on earth. Fresleven was angered about a deal with the chief of a tribe over two black hens. Fresleven became infuriated and beat the chief with a stick.

He was the kindest man but when giving the opportunity or absolute power, he abused it. The situation was so grave that after that event occurred with Fresleven the whole village evacuated and moved somewhere else. This theme affected the white men and the natives both in a very negative way.

Conrad uses the main theme to describe the disturbing actions that white men did in the Congo. Marlow left the first station to go on a caravan of sixty men. Conrad describes the caravan as having all the black men performing the hard labor for the white men, the white men were like kings. In Marlow's travels with the caravan he met a weak fat man that came down with a fever. Marlow had to make the natives carry him on hammock because the fat man suddenly became ill. This man was very fat, through the travels...