Heart of Darkness Essay

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In the following essay, Attell, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, explores how Heart of Darkness has been viewed as both a commentary on the evils of colonialism and a philosophical exploration of the human psyche. Attell argues that critics who argue that the novel is either historical or philosophical "misses Conrad's insight that the two are in fact inseparable."

The original publication of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness was a three-part serialization in London's Blackwood's Magazine in 1899. It was subsequently published in a collection of three stories by Conrad in 1902. The date of Heart of Darkness should be noted, for it provides a historical context which illuminates the story's relation to both the contemporary turn-of-the-century world to which Conrad responds in the tale, and also the influential role Conrad plays in the subsequent progress of twentieth-century literary history.

Traditionally there have been two main ways of...

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This section contains 1,736 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heart of Darkness Study Guide
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