Similarities in Joseph Conrad's novels. Speaks of "The Secret Sharer" and "Heart of Darkness"

Essay by Johnny3College, UndergraduateA-, January 1996

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Joseph Conrad's books, The Secret Sharer and Heart of Darkness, both deal with

each of our 'dark selves'. These books also have similarities which are overwhelming.

In describing the true inner self of humans, Conrad used many symbols which have

become apparent in many of his novels. Conrad uses the same or very similar objects in

many of his works.

Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness in 1899 to recount his voyages in the

Congo. Conrad hid most of his meaning in his words using a form of writing known as

'stream of consciousness'. This made it difficult for people to find the true meaning of

his work. After about ten years, Conrad realized that he would have to get his point

across in an easier to understand book. This book was The Secret Sharer.

Both of these books include the hero wanting to meet or developing a fascination

for a truly evil character.

In Heart of Darkness, Marlow is very eager to meet Kurtz.

Marlow is so eager, in fact, that he eventually starts to panic when he thinks he will never

meet him. Marlow realizes that Kurtz is a very evil person, but this does not stop him

from wanting to meet this incredibly remarkable person. In The Secret Sharer the

Captain saves a murderer from almost certain death without knowing what the man has

done. Later, The Captain has a discussion with the man and finds out his name is

Leggatt. Leggatt tells his story and the Captain becomes more enthralled with Leggatt

ever so more. When Leggatt tells the Captain he has committed a murder, the Captain

does not throw him overboard. Instead, the Captain harbors this criminal because he

feels a connection with Leggatt that he has never felt before. In both stories the hero...