The Heart of Darkness Essay – Lots of “Darkness” to Talk About

The Heart of Darkness Essay – Lots of “Darkness” to Talk About

What is Heart of Darkness about really? For such a short novel, literary analysts have dissected and poured over Joseph Conrad’s work for years. At one level, it is a story of a rather naïve Marlow who takes a job as a steamboat captain for a Belgium trading company based in the Congo who witnesses lots of terrible things – mistreatment of natives, native anger, and a fully honest jerk who is the worst exploiter of all. Against this backdrop, there is the prevailing theme of “darkness” and ignorance – on the part of the white man, not the natives.


Racism in Heart of Darkness is apparent and totally pervasive. The white traders and exploiters make no excuses for their treatment of the “savages” as they often call them, and Kurtz, the ultimate exploiter insists that the solution to their uprisings and rebelliousness is extermination. While racism today takes on far subtler forms, the mentality behind it is the same. A great essay would be to compare the thinking of the imperialists in the Congo with the ideology of the white supremacist movements of today.


Darkness in Heart of Darkness is a concept with multiple layers of meaning in this novelette, and would certainly make a great essay topic. There is of course the underlying darkness in the heart of the white colonists who cover their racist hypocrisy with nonsense ideologies that they are somehow “civilizing” the uncivilized, by forcing them into hard labor conditions and terrible mistreatment that is somehow good for their souls. There is the darkness of Kurtz who has only one concern – getting ivory and making a profit – a man who engages in the worst darkness – making himself a “god” in order to exploit. Then there is the real heart of darkness – the heart of the rich and plentiful landscape and the dark-skinned people who live within it in at harmony with it.


Who, really, are the ignorant ones here? A great Heart of Darkness analysis essay could be constructed on this concept. All of the whites in the work are woefully ignorant of the native population and its society. They live along the Congo River, totally removed from the interior and the cultures that live there. Marlow stays on the River, never venturing into the interior, and thus remains ignorant. Kurtz, too, lives at the river’s edge and only associates with natives to exploit and terrorize them into submission. They all remain ignorant of the rich heritage and culture of those “savages” they dominate with disdain.

Writing the Essay

For such a short work, the statements and themes are enormous, many of which can be related to circumstances of contemporary society. There are just great essay writing possibilities. You, however, may not really be “into” such a task, and that is totally understandable. You have lots of other coursework obligations, especially if you are a non-literature major. You don’t have to “suffer” through this essay. has a personal writer for you who can get the job done!