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  • February 2013
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Teen Review: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Hi!  I’m Anastasia.  I’m a senior at Carrick High School and I volunteer at the Carrick Library, though most of my time is spent reading or writing.

As I am currently in an AP Literature class in school, we often end up reading a lot of books.  Many of which are rather good, but recently I had to read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness which proved to be a disappointment to me.  The book revolves around the ivory trade in Africa when Europe began to colonize and split up the region.  Many would describe the book as prejudiced, but I found myself too confused by the narrator to notice this.  I’m not sure if it was because I was tired or if I was unable to read the book as I would like, but I was often struggling to find what exactly the narrator was talking about.  One moment he was on the boat and in the next it appeared he wasn’t, or was he?  I found myself confused a lot of the time.  The story also brought about a lot of rumors concerning the antagonist, Mr. Kurtz, but in the end it appeared he was nothing more than a sickly old man.  I was at a loss to interpret this phenomenon – was he sick due to greed’s effect on him and the things he had done?  The book built his personality on rumors and other character’s accounts, so perhaps the irony of a sickly man was too much for me.  For all its faults, however, Heart of Darkness wasn’t necessarily bad.  It used a lot of intense imagery that added to the feel of the book, and it described the savage nature of man when it comes to greed and dominance very well, but something about the book just didn’t fit with me.  Maybe, at another time, I will have to reread it and give it another shot.

One Response

  1. Heart of Darkness is a difficult book no matter how old anyone is. We’ve got 14 different books of criticism just on it at the Carnegie Main Library in the Reference Dept. – http://preview.tinyurl.com/bzljldk – so you aren’t the only one that’s confused! We’re happy to send books to the branches any time if you ever need them.

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