Heart Of Darkness Symbolism Essay

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Heart of Darkness Critical Review Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is the most descriptive novella I have ever read. I am still contemplating whether such particularity was necessary for the effective telling of the story. From the opening paragraph to the conclusion, Conrad paints detailed pictures that seem to make visualization effortless. On the other hand, his metaphors and descriptions get very tedious at times, often boring me.

I really like the way Heart of Darkness depicts racism and colonialism in the Congo during the late 19th and early 20th century. Heart of Darkness gives an insight to how the Europeans felt about the natives of the Congo, and how the Europeans treated those natives. Without meaning it, Conrad gives us a good history lesson about colonialism and imperialism.

The book's downfall is the way Mr. Conrad expands on things. Even though the novella is already short (around 110 pages long), it could have been much shorter.

In many parts of the story, Conrad spends too much time, and often too many adjectives in a sentence, explaining the scenery, and what Marlow is experiencing. This does give you a good picture of what is happening, but it also causes you to lose interest. You find yourself wondering when something is going to happen. Conrad also uses so much ambiguous language it becomes difficult to grasp the story.

If I were to rewrite Conrad's story, I would avoid the seemingly never-ending descriptions of objects or situations that are often unrelated to the main story. I would keep my elaborations simple allowing the reader to fill in the rest of the pictures with the colours of his mind.

I would recommend this novella to anyone who likes a compelling story with elaborate imagery that really gets your mind spinning, However, if you prefer the gripping story without the unnecessary (in my mind) descriptions, then you just might be bored -not to mention confused- to tears reading this one.