Heart of Darkness

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Plain Label Books, 1975
15 Reviews

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Reading this book over the summer was difficult because I didn't have much time to be able to sit down and just read right through. I was busy with work and trying to find balance for my life but finding the time to read the book became much more beneficial than I thought.
The main character, Marlow, narrates his tale to a ship of men and through reading this I began to understand more about the book as well as myself. The inner look that Marlow took within himself inspired me to do the same. Remembering the book today is hard because I read it when I was at a different point in my life. But the interest that Marlow takes in Kurtz provides any reader with an established understanding of what the book entails. With savage natives bringing constant threat, the book enveloped me with the culture of the Thames and journey from Africa to Congo.
Remembering this book was helpful because going into writing it shows me what ways I can portray my own writing and what styles I do and don’t like. Other people might not like this book because the way Joseph Conrad constructed it was difficult for even me to read which made it hard for me because I’m naturally a great reader.
The overall arching theme of the novel provided great influence that stories should be shared. Sharing your story can impact others and when sharing it with others, your legend lives on. I would suggest this book to any strong reader that has a love for adventure and culture and will appreciate the complex vocabulary as well as the intriguing sentence structure. This book overall wasn’t my favorite, but I enjoyed the challenge that it presented.

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I was assigned to read this short novel during the summer of 2014 for a Honors English class. It took me about two weeks to read and yet also begin to fully comprehend it. I spent most of my time reading this book while traveling back and forth from the East Coast by plane. The novel was very difficult to understand, one of the hardest reads I have faced in my seventeen years.
I compared my life to that of Mr. Charlie Marlow (one of the main characters). Within the story, he faces hardships of not knowing what to do next after hitting rock bottom... Literally. While reading this I faced my own problems, for example I had many intense interviews occurring with College Department Heads and was faced with confliction on my future, a pretty scary time for a new seventeen year old. This novel has a lot of immoral events taking place, illegal ivory trade, terrible rituals, and lack of government aid. Compared to my life no events like these occur in my life (thank god).
The Heart of Darkness was a short dark, intense, and interesting read, the images in my head while reading the book changed often; from torturous rituals to beautiful boat rides along the Congo River. I remember being unsettled and anxious while reading parts, it definitely changes your perspective on the heart of the Congo. I believe in the future when I recollect this book in the future, what is most likely to come to my mind is the thought of all the horrors going on throughout the book. Even though it is fiction, events like this occur in the world and people do not even realize what is going on in the deepest and most dangerous parts of Africa.
If you are the type of person who enjoys intense, interesting, and dangerous reads then this is the novel for you. I personally believe this book should be a mandatory read for all in primary school, so students learn how to interpret difficult reads and put them into their own perspectives. This novel definitely has an influence on the human psyche…Shout out to you Mr. Joseph Conrad for creating a read to challenge myself.

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