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Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

An Analysis of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
The early years of Joseph Conrad were rather unpleasant, but he managed to prevail and became a prolific writer of English fiction. Joseph Conrad was born Jozkef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski to a Polish family in a Ukranian province on December 3, 1857 (Heart of Darkness). When Joseph Conrad was just three years old, his father was arrested on suspicion of revolutionary affiliation. At eight years of age, Conrad witnessed his mother die of tuberculosis. Her death was followed by her husband’s when Conrad was just twelve. He became an orphan, who was taken in by his father’s uncle. Under the care of his uncle, he was introduced to a lifestyle contrasting the revolutionary ideals of his father. Conrad was indoctrinated with the conservative ideals. He was torn between the teachings of his father and his uncle, but from his uncle’s teaching he made a very important decision. He decided he did not like the Christian religion. He disliked any dogmatic belief that separated men and women because of race, nationality or religion. In 1874, Conrad became a seaman, fascinated by the sea. He sailed to many places, especially in Africa and Asia, first as a sailor and then as a captain (British Humanist Association). During his travels he witnessed division caused by religious belief and dogmatic attitudes in the many countries he visited (British Humanist Association). Conrad’s childhood, humanist outlook, and experiences at sea influenced all his great writings. His journey to Congo in 1890 influenced his most famous novel, Heart of Darkness. During his visit to Congo he witnessed the corruption that ran rampant under the rule of King Leopold II. He captured his experiences and created an ima…

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…own about imperialism. Without being completely blatant Conrad suggest the regime of King Leopold II in the Congo. Conrad’s characters reveal the hypocrisy and madness caused by imperialism that he witnessed in the Congo. They reveal the different types of rulers in imperial power and suggest that either ruler, suppressing the natives of the other country, is participating in evil. Conrad’s novel is not only a narrative for Marlow’s experience, but also for his experience with imperialism first-hand.

British Humanist Association, Joseph Conrad, tradition/20th-century-humanis/joseph-conrad/, April 15, 2014.
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad Biography,,
April 15, 2014.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1990. April 16, 2014.

Voltaire’s Candide: Prejudices Against Religion and State

Prejudices Against Religion and State in Candide

Voltaire has strong viewpoints that become very obvious when reading his work Candide. Candide is a collection of criticisms that immortalize Voltaire’s Controversial thoughts and prejudices against religion and state.

Voltaire had a negative view on government as he wrote in Candide: “let us work without arguing, that is the only way to make life endurable.” Voltaire accepted the Royalists and rejected the parliamentary interpretation of the French constitution, but he was willing to concede that the legal position was not clear. (Gay 111) Voltaire said,” the very word parliament makes up part of it’s power and parliament is nothing under a vigorous government, it is every thing under a feeble king. All the more reason for kings to be feeble with their rebellious magistrates. (Gay 111) Supreme authority which may be abused, is dangerous, but a divided authority is even more so. Voltaire admitted that his own gratitude was dimmed by Louis XIV’s numberless failures, and the king’s achievements fell short of what he might have done. (Gay 113) Measured against Louis’s opportunities, his accomplishments became less impressive. Voltaire put criticism in the mouth of a Roman citizen addressing his county’s officials.”o you, who take pride in being good, why do you not do all the good you can do?” Voltaire expresses in chapter twenty one in Candide, his anti-war campaign which ultimately translates to anti government. In the 1760’s Voltaire developed the philosophy that repression is necessary, but it must be rational. Voltaire’s land of Eldarado,in Candide, has no prisons but, it is a utopia. The only justification for repression is political rather t…

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…, incoherent maxims, without taste, without selection, and without design. If the Song of Songs in an inept rhapsody, what shall we think of a religion that urges men to believe them to be of divine inspiration? In a word, the vileness and absurdity of the biblical Jews demonstrates the vileness and absurdity of Christianity.” (Gay 354) These statements illustrate Voltaire’s views toward religion.

Voltaire strong viewpoints are clearly expressed throughout his work Candide. Candide is a collection of criticisms that immortalize Voltaire’s controversial thoughts and prejudices against religion and state.


Andrews, Wayne. Voltaire. New York: New Directions Pub. 1981

Gay, Peter. Voltaire’s Politics.New York: Random House,1965

Weitz, Morris. Philosophy in literature. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press.1963

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