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Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Editions) 4th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is simple enough, a young Englishman; Marlow (this character appears in Conrad's story "Youth") goes out to Africa to seek his fortune. He is at first idealistic, and full of himself. However he quickly realises that Africa is full of petty bureaucrats who have no idea how to make use of this dark jewel they have acquired. Like Colonists before them, they proceed to ravage and plunder the land of its natural resources. Enter Kurtz, an Ivory Trader who has gone Native. He has become a Renegade, living with his Black mistress in the heart of Africa's interior; systematically turning his back on his supposed civilised self.
Marlow meets Kurtz after an eventful trip up the Congo and finds himself curiously attracted to this strange man who is [very ill], and obviously going insane. Kurtz in turn is an embarrassment to his employers who would rather see him dead than returned to "civilization." Of course this is unspoken, and the hypocrisy of human natures sticks out like a sore thumb in this novel, especially as Kurtz is one of the best Ivory Traders on the Congo route.
Marlow struggles to understand Kurtz and what makes him tick, but he only touches the surface of a man who can live in neither the Black or White world comfortably. He has been [harmed] by both worlds and therefore he is cursed. Heart of Darkness has many facets; it is a story about Imperialism, racism, and the darkness of human nature. Conrad purposely leaves the ending open to interpretation. ...
This is a book that will make you think, make you want to it re-read again and again in case you have missed anything. There are also some genuinely funny moments in the book such as the Doctor who measures skulls for a hobby and the pompous Trading Post clerk who teaches his Black maid to starch his clothes. This edition, (Dover Thrift) is well worth getting as well, as it is [inexpensive] and cheerful and it definitely won't break the bank money wise.
The Norton Critical Edition gives you 325 extra pages of material written by Conrad and others that provide answers to the above questions. You don't have to read all of these many articles, of course, but a good sampling of them will make your immersion in this famous story all the more enjoyable and meaningful.
This is a story that everyone should read, and the Norton Critical Edition provides the best format for the reading experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marlow recalls an adventure to his shipmates on the Thames.