Into the Darkness


So, I know that Kizz and I have read Heart of Darkness, and that some of you were going to make a go of it. It’s time for those annoying English-teacher questions I promised! Feel free to think about any (or all, or none) of them and respond as you will. This is not for credit and will not be graded – feel free to take chances in your thinking.

*Think about the narrative structure of the novel. WHO is really telling the story? How does the narrative structure influence the story or our feelings or reactions to it?

*There are five women mentioned in the novel. Can you identify them? What are they there for?

*What kind of man is Marlow? What leads you to that conclusion?

*Is there any significance to the fact that the story takes place almost entirely on boats? How does the concept of movement influence the course of the novel?

*Think for a while about the nature of imperialism. How does Heart of Darkness address the idea of imperialism, and what conclusions does the story lead us to?

*Choose a character and consider his (or her) place in the novel. What motivates your character? How is your character different as the novel closes?

**start thinking about what you might like to read next; I’m loving the blog-book club thing!**

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One response to “Into the Darkness

  1. Marlow is, I think, a mercenary. He’s a drunk and he’s not always about following the rules. The question becomes, was he this way before or did the trip to get Kurtz make him that way? Certainly the latter is Coppola’s take on it.

    I think travel, particularly travel with a current, mirrors the slow changes in one’s soul, in one’s maturity. People don’t become evil or disillusioned over night, it takes a journey and a confluence of experiences to make that happen.

    In the world of HoD imperialism is the norm. Everyone in the story treats the natives as less than human – except possibly Kurtz. I don’t know if that racism was simply written as the way things were or as a highlight to show readers in that time the error of their ways.

    I’d love to play the part of Kurtz’s fiancee. She’s so delightfully wrong, though you have to wonder if that’s a veneer, if she does know, to some extent that he’s a nutjob. How fun would it be if she’s actually a bit relieved that he took a turn for the worse?

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