Chelsea_ Kate_ Katie_ Jared_ Mack_ Jessica Plot Summary Heart of

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					                                                         Chelsea, Kate, Katie, Jared, Mack, Jessica

Title: Heart of Darkness                                   Biographical Information:
Author: Joseph Conrad                                      Joseph Conrad was born in 1857 in Poland. His birth
                                                           name was Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski.
Date of Publications: 1902                                 After his father died in 1869 of Tuberculosis, Conrad
Genre: Modern Novella                                      moved to live with his uncle in Switzerland. In 1874 he
                                                           joined the French merchant ships. He later joined the
Historical Information:
                                                           British merchant ships for which he received his
 During the 20th century, England was marked by
                                                           Master's certificate in 1886. Conrad lived in London,
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. There was
                                                           where he met and married his wife Jessie George in
also the aesthetic movement during this time, which
                                                           1896. Conrad traveled on the Congo River in Africa in
affected the middle classes. Education was on the ride
                                                           1890, which was the subject of his novel Heart of
in England with the passage of the Education Act of
                                                           Darkness. Joseph Conrad died in 1924 from a heart
1870. The values of the Victorian Era-- religion,
family, and education-- were being questioned by
writers of the 20th century. The Boer War, from 1899
to 1902, affected British views on imperialism as          Characteristics of the Genre:
Britain took over the Boer republics of South Africa.      The modern novella often illuminates individual
                                                           experience, conveys inner consciousness, and focuses on
                                                           the mystery of the universe, its lack of order and

Plot Summary:
Heart of Darkness begins on the Nellie as Marlow recounts his trip to the Congo to four other men, including an
accountant, a lawyer, the Director of Companies, and the narrator. Marlow received a job captaining a steamboat,
through the influence of his aunt. As Marlow tells his story, he said that he traveled to Brussels, Belgium to meet
with his boss. At the company headquarters, Marlow sees two women sitting in the lobby. After meeting with his
boss, he visits a doctor for a physical examination. The doctor measures his head just out of curiosity and
mentions that no men ever return to him from Africa. Then Marlow goes to visit his aunt before he leaves for
Africa. On Marlow’s journey to Africa, they make various stops along the coast and even come across a French
man-of-war engaged in battle. Finally, Marlow reaches the outer station where he sees the natives being enslaved
and brutally treated. He also comes across a valley where he sees many natives dying. Then he meets the nicely
dressed and well-groomed accountant. From the outer station, Marlow walks to the central station, where he meets
the general manager and finds out that his steamboat was wrecked. His trip is therefore delayed several months.
One night there is a fire and a native is beaten for causing it. Marlow then meets the brick maker, who promises
him to have rivets to prepare the steamboat within weeks. The rivets never come, but the El Dorado Expedition
arrives. The leader of this expedition is the uncle of the general manager, and one night Marlow overhears them
talking about how Kurtz should be killed. Marlow, the manager, and a group of cannibals then head up stream
towards the Inner station. The come across a shed filled with wood for the steamboat and a note that tells them to
approach with caution. Later on their journey, natives attack the ship and the helmsman is killed. When they
finally reach the inner station, Marlow meets a Russian and has a conversation with him about Kurtz. The Russian
explains to Marlow about the natives’ heads on the poles in front of Kurtz’s cabin. Then Marlow talks with Kurtz.
When Marlow finds out the manager wants to have the Russian hung, he warns him, and the Russian heads off in a
canoe. Before the Russian leaves, he tells Marlow that Kurtz ordered the attack on the steamboat. That night,
Kurtz sneaks off the steamboat and is drawn into the jungle, towards natives’ drum sounds. Marlow goes after him
and brings him back to the ship. The next day the boat leaves to head back to Belgium, and as they depart, the
pilgrims fire upon the natives, including Kurtz’s mistress. Kurtz dies on their voyage back, and his last words
were, “The Horror…The Horror.” Marlow also gets sick on their journey, but survives. When Marlow is back in
Brussels, a man from the company comes and collects some papers belonging to Kurtz. Then, Kurtz’s cousin
comes to visit Marlow and they discuss his music background. After the cousin, a journalist friend of Kurtz’s
comes and takes some of papers to publish. After a year, Marlow goes to see Kurtz’s intended, who is still in
mourning. He lies to her and tells her that Kurtz’s last words were her name and she stated that she knew it all
along. The narrator then ends the story.

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