Heart of Darkness Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Heart of Darkness.
This section contains 2,334 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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Throughout Heart of Darkness, which tells of a Journey into the heart of the Belgian Congo and out again, the themes of alienation, loneliness, silence and solitude predominate. The book begins and ends in silence, with men first waiting for a tale to begin and then left to their own thoughts after it has concluded. The question of what the alienation and loneliness of extended periods of time in a remote and hostile environment can do to men's minds is a central theme of the book. The doctor who measures Marlow's head prior to his departure for Africa warns him of changes to his personality that may be produced by a long stay in country. Prolonged silence and solitude are seen to have damaging effects on many characters in the book. Among these are the late Captain Fresleven, Marlow's predecessor, who was transformed from a gentle soul into a man...

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This section contains 2,334 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heart of Darkness Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Heart of Darkness from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.