"Heart of Darkness" (1899) is a classic of world literature by Joseph Conrad. He acknowledged that "Heart of Darkness" was in part based on his own experiences during his travels in Africa. In 1890, at the age of 32, he was appointed to serve as the captain of a steamer on the Congo River by a Belgian trading company.
The book tells a story about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State, in the heart of Africa. Marlow, the story's narrator, tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames, London, England. This setting provides the frame for Marlow's story of his obsession with the ivory trader Kurtz, which enables Conrad to create a parallel between London and Africa as places of darkness.
Central to Conrad's work is the idea that there is little difference between so-called civilized people and those described as savages. "Heart of Darkness" raises important questions about imperialism and racism.
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