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am 20. Juli 2000
How can an author who did not begin to learn english until he was twenty have such control over the language? Like Joyce, and other masters of the English language, Conrad can at times be difficult to read, and confusing to follow, but underneath the complex exterior is a powerful tale that has the potential to give you a deeper appreciation for literature and maybe even for life.
Although the book has been called both racist and sexist, I do not believe that this is the case. I believe Conrad illustrates the feelings and "the horror" of the time as only a master artist could. If you read the novel, do not do so looking to label it as racist or sexist, but rather look at it as an attempt to bring light upon the oppresion of both non whites and women that was taking place at the time. Is the "heart of darkness" really the African jungle and its people as one might naturally assume, or did Conrad want to ironicly portray the colonist, the white europeans, to be the true savages, the true heart of darkness? There are many questions in this book, and it would be impossible to read the novel without finding yourself moved.
How can an author who did not begin to learn english until he was twenty have such control over the language? Like Joyce, and other masters of the English language, Conrad can at times be difficult to read, and confusing to follow, but underneath the complex exterior is a powerful tale that has the potential to give you a deeper appreciation for literature and maybe even for life. Although the book has been called both racist and sexist, I do not believe that this is the case. I believe Conrad illustrates the feelings and "the horror" of the time as only a master artist could. If you read the novel, do not do so looking to label it as racist or sexist, but rather look at it as an attempt to bring light upon the oppresion of both non whites and women that was taking place at the time. Is the "heart of darkness" really the African jungle and its people as one might naturally assume, or did Conrad want to ironicly portray the colonist, the white europeans, to be the true savages, the true heart of darkness? There are many questions in this book, and it would be impossible to read the novel without finding yourself moved.
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am 3. November 2006
The story "Heart of Darkness" (N.B. without ‘the’) is a classic: a fascinating insight into the exploration and exploitation of Africa. Conrad can be hard to read, but it is well worth the effort: his language is masterful and his symbolism poignant. He manages to evoke the horrors of entering a dangerous and often absurd world, superbly using literary techniques (story-within-a-story, delayed decoding, etc) to bring tension and realism to the reader. He is critical of European imperialism (which was highly controversial when the book was published) and intentionally lays bare the hideous treatment the blacks received.

There are two films based on this book (“Heart of Darkness” and “Apocalypse Now”) but neither of them manages to depict the feeling Conrad manages to put down here.
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