Heart of Darkness, written in 1899 by Joseph Conrad, is about a man named Marlow who travels deep into the African jungle. But that is only its base level. The book is a reflection on one of the last unknown places being explored by the English, and throughout the book themes of this “darkness” are explored, with vague character names, and metonymic and literal mist surrounding the characters. A Belgian trade company (referred to by the characters throughout the story as “The Company”) has forced the indigenous inhabitants to work for them, representing an obligatory societal force intruding upon an unexplored land for resources, which is a common occurrence in history.
Reasons Why You Should Read This Book
Heart of Darkness is renowned as a classic novella. It has themes with relevance to today’s world, such as the corruption of power. Kurtz, the commander of a trading post and the man Marlow is looking for, is referred to as “idealistic,” "brilliant," and found as corrupted by his power. He influences natives to go on brutal raids with him for ivory and establishes himself as a god among them, even killing several rebels who defied him. Company exploitation is also a major theme throughout the novella, as “The Company” exploits the natives for their workforce and natural resources.
Reading Level Out of 10
This book has an intricately weaved plot in it with underlying themes that could be difficult to understand for some, so I’m going to give it a rating of 7/10 for overall reading comprehension.
Heart of Darkness is a classic discovery tale with a bit of horror in it and it is a brief read. It also has elements of corruption in it that can be related to our modern-day world. I am giving this book an overall rating of 9/10.
Ambrose McCullough, Head of Literary Review