Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: book card

Hearth of Darkness is a novel by the writer Joseph Conrad focused on a journey to go up the Congo River . Do you have to read this book for holiday homework and has the teacher also given you the book card? Don't worry: just read below to get everything you need. Remember that you will only have to use this book card to take a cue if you have difficulties, as it is very important to read!

Read the complete guide Book sheet: how to do it


Card Book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Remember that to make a perfect book card you will need to enter all the required elements. Here is the first information to insert:

  • Title: Heart of darkness
  • Author: Joseph Conrad
  • Publisher: Garzanti Libri
  • City and year of publication: Edinburgh 1899
  • Book genre : narrative novel

Dark heart: main character

We then move on to the presentation of the main characters of the story.

  • Marlow: he is the protagonist, with a good and introverted character. Since he was a boy he has a passion for geography and dreams of traveling through Africa, a continent with a thousand unexplored territories. Thanks to his aunt he manages to be part of the colonial company that works on the banks of the Congo River. Marlow is disappointed by the wickedness with which blacks are enslaved and with which the territory is exploited for the collection of raw materials.
  • Kurtz: he is the co-protagonist, an unscrupulous man very interested in Africa and specifically in the Congo only to get rich personally. He would like to become director of the company only to celebrate his self-exaltation. At the beginning he was a different man: he wanted to come into contact with the African world to civilize it and bring it to an evolution and progress.

Heart of darkness: space and time

The story takes place in the Belgian Congo over a period of time ranging from 1860 to 1870.

Themes Heart of darkness

The novel has as its idea to center the little difference between civilized peoples and those considered wild. The fundamental questions regarding racism and imperialism therefore emerge.

Heart of darkness: plot and comment

While waiting for the fabulous tide on the yacht Nellie, the sailor Marlow begins to tell about a journey made many years earlier in Africa, strongly desired given his passion for geography and the black continent. One day, returning from one of his travels in the Far East, he had seen a geography map in which he had hit the path of a large river, the Congo River. Having embarked on the journey across the Congo River aboard a vaporetto, he arrives at the headquarters of the Company that hired him, interested in the ivory trade. Marlow is disappointed by what he sees: the crimes with which some characters are stained seem really inexplicable. Everyone envies Kurtz, a mysterious man capable of procuring huge quantities of ivory: legends of all kinds arise on his figure. Marlow, aboard a ramshackle steamboat, departs towards the base of Kurtz together with other settlers and indigenous cannibals, paid with a brass wire. The river is laboriously ascended into the night and, upon reaching its destination, Marlow discovers that the base of Kurtz is the scene of atrocious misdeeds. The settlers first find the hostility of the natives, who have deified Kurtz (sick and dying), impressed by his appearance and his personality. Marlow is also fascinated by the character; easily catches Kurt, who dies on the return journey by saying "The horror, the horror!" and delivering letters along with photos of a woman. Marlow returns to London where she meets Kurtz's fiancée, who considers himself the widow of the man: Marlow has no intention of revealing the cruelties conducted by the man, so he lies to her and tells her that the last words were for her.

By the same author: Lord Jim: summary and book card

Heart of darkness: style

The style of the story is suggestive, the jungle seems animated by an unexplored mystery. Among the most fascinating figures we find Kurtz, described so as to appear as a mysterious figure with hypnotic and bewildered power.

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(Photo: courtesy of Medusa Distribuzione)