Get help from the best in academic writing.

journeyhod The Inward Journey in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Inward Journey in Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness is a book about one man’s journey into the depths of the African Congo. He travels to a place where, “’the changes take place inside’”(Conrad 15). For a man named Kurtz, his journey went deeper into Africa then he could have ever expected. Kurtz’s journey into Africa ended up being a journey into the darkness within himself.

At the beginning of the journey, Kurtz was a good man who believed in bringing civilization to Africa. You see some of Kurtz’s good intentions in a lot of his writings. When Marlow was reading them, he said, “’…He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, ‘must necessarily appear to them (savages) in the nature of supernatural beings-we approach them with the might as of deity,’ and so on, and so on. ‘By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,’ etc. etc”(Conrad 50). In his writings, Kurtz believed in using the power of Europe for good. He believed in coming to the Africans as a God, not as a conqueror. You also see his good intentions in a picture that he painted. Marlow saw it and said, “’Then I noticed a small sketch in oils, on a panel, representing a woman draped and blindfolded carrying a lighted torch. The background was somber-almost black’”(Conrad 27). The picture gives you an idea about how Kurtz felt before he left

for the interior. In the picture, the darkness is Africa and the woman represents Europe.

The light that she is holding represents knowledge, or the civilization that Europe is trying to bring to Africa. Kurtz believed that he was bringing light to Africa and he expressed that in his picture.

Even though Kurtz we…

… middle of paper …

…se. But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had

looked within itself and by Heavens I tell you, it had gone mad. (Conrad 65)

Marlow clearly states here that by being in the wilderness, Kurtz was alone and isolated. Through this isolation, Kurtz had found himself. To Marlow he was mad, but he was still clear about himself. To Kurtz, he might have been mad, but he had finally found out who he really was.

Throughout the book, Kurtz struggled to find his true self. In the beginning he believed in bringing civilization for the greater good, but by doing this, he was forced to realize the corruption within himself. Through the loneliness and isolation of Africa, Kurtz’s journey ended up being a journey into the darkness within himself.

Works Cited

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. W.W. Norton

Desperation in The Glass Menagerie

A 26 year-old woman kneels on the floor, childlike, playing with glass figurines upon a living room table. Too plagued by her own humility, Laura contemplates only one future for herself; seclusion from the outside world where bad encounters prevail the desire for good experiences. A lack of positive growth for Laura, along with the rest of her family, is the pitfall for Tennessee Williams where he pressurizes kindred desperation in The Glass Menagerie only to produce hopelessness as the ultimate outcome.

Expressing the turmoil in the life he sees before him, Tom curses “How lucky dead people are!” (1.3.34). The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, portrays a dysfunctional family succumbing to the recurring destiny of desperation and remorse. Amanda, the mother of two adult children, desperately tries to prod her children into seeking a better future. She pushes her son Tom to the point that he plans to escape his mother’s overbearing presence. His older sister, Laura, is so withdrawn by the embarrassment of a crippling disability that she is not fit to enter society. From this, her mother decides to find a beau for Laura in hopes to marry her. She cajoles Tom into bringing a suitor home for dinner from the factory where he already feels the enslavement of his employment. The result is Jim, charming and ambitious, who sees Laura for who she is: a shy, introverted girl withdrawn in her own adolescent world. He attempts to shock her into glimpsing reality through a kiss that ultimately backfires as Laura, being enamored by her savior, is soon heartbroken to find that Jim is actually engaged to a girl named Betty. The play concludes with all characters reflecting the epitome of desperation: Laura in her mother’s clutc…

… middle of paper …

…34) I felt I could never repeat this same phrase to my own children without remembering the disdain I imagined in Tom’s voice. Another interesting factor was that of Tom as narrator. This tactic provided another avenue to explore Tom’s personality. Amanda’s character inadvertently offered some interest as well. Her disposition inspires disdain in the reader and, in the end, this indicates an effective character. This, with Tom’s interaction, carried the story.

A scenario wherein Laura rises to her feet and courageously vows to attain some sense of fulfillment in her life coupled with Tom’s ultimate acceptance of Jim’s advice for direction would have imparted a more optimistic and satisfying conclusion to this work. Unfortunately, the reality is that the reader is left unfulfilled after enduring a play that ends in a mood even more desperate than when it began.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.