Okay, I am approaching this book review as a book lover, not an English Literature student which means I’m going to be openly honest in terms of how difficult and wordy this book is, and it really is!
As a Literature student, I understand why this was on the reading list. With is beautiful references to the darkness in people, and the darkness of the country around them, it’s a perfect book to analyse for an essay. In real life, it can take a while to get into the language; I’m definitely going to have to re-read the sucker before we study it in class!
In Heart of Darkness, we follow Charles Marlow for the majority of the novella who takes an assignment in Africa with a trading company. We see the dark side of the European colonisation which to some readers can be quite distressing. The clear racism in this book is just what was done during the time of publication but Conrad uses Heart of Darkness to highlight the darkness of the treatment of the African natives, as well as the darkness of the wilderness around them.
I fully enjoyed this book, the writing is beautiful and this book proves you can learn a lot about a part of history in a short amount of pages.
Characters come and go throughout the novel but there are two main ones, Marlow and Kurtz. Kurtz, an ivory collector is a character I could never set my finger upon. I never knew if I should like or dislike the man but thinking upon him now, I think that was the point. He was only ever trying to do his job, but went the wrong way about it. This doesn’t stop people from instantly adoring his character. Marlow however, is definitely a character that can be trusted in my eyes and his narration is utterly fantastic.
Out of 10, I’d give Heart of Darkness a 7/10 as it is a classic and I’m glad I’ve had to read it, but if you don’t concentrate on every word, you’ll definitely have to go back and it’s slightly difficult to read.
Did you enjoy this review? Have you ever read Heart of Darkness?
Lots of love,