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Heart of Darkness Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

If you’re looking for a study guide on how to write Heart of Darkness essay, you should definitely check this post. Below we will share a few ideas that will help you to cope with the assignment.

⁉️ How to Write a Critical Review on Heart of Darkness

The key idea of a critical review is that you have to evaluate the main issues, arguments, theme of the book, etc.

The first step to a successful essay is the active reading. Take notes that will help you to understand what the author wanted to show you and the way he does it.

Here are few Heart of Darkness essay questions to analyse in your paper:

Narrator’s point of view.

Joseph Conrad uses two different first-person point of view. The book begins and ends with narration of a traveler who listens to Marlow’s story while the main part of the plot is told by Marlow.

Think, why does the author use this technique instead of traditional third-person or first-person narration? How does this framing changes the reader’s interpretation of the story? How do you think, is Marlow’s story real? Is there any evidence to prove it? Is the traveler reliable?
Check our Heart of Darkness essay samples to get more inspiration!

Symbolism in the story

If you’re assigned to write Heart of Darkness symbolism essay, than you have a lot of opportunities! The Conrad’s book is full of symbols. And here are a few examples:

  • Fog

Think, what does fog symbolizes in Marlow travel. Is it a nuisance or a kind of barrier? Can it symbolize the Marlow’s journey uncertainty or his mental state?

  • Kurtz

Examine Kurtz’s character and personality. In your paper, explore episodes when he acts as God for native Africans. Or, you can analyze the greed and power in Kurtz’s actions.

  • The accountant

The accountant symbolizes the company and its goals. The way he appears in the story reflects the actual image that the company wishes to create while undergoing the colonization: elegant outside, but destructive inside.

Of course, we didn’t mention all the symbols presented in a book. Make your own research and define what else symbols are represented in Heart of Darkness.

Heart of Darkness essay themes

If you’re looking for the themes of Heart of Darkness, check some of them below:

  • Racial discrimination theme

Theme of racial discrimination in the novel shows how is dominating in Africa. Analyze how the racial crimes that Kurtz committed against Africans correspond to racism today.

  • Evil and good theme

Explore how Kurtz’s ambitions that seems good relate to his true goals which are not so admirable. On the other hand, you might want to analyze Marlow’s struggles to make the right decisions.

  • Violence and greed

Conrad describes two types of violence in the novel: provoked cruelty and violence among the savages. Explore how Kurtz uses violence to dominate the Africans and to attack steam carrying Marlow.

Investigate the period of ivory trade and how it has impacted the native Africans’ freedom and life. What were the role of violence in the competition between the European companies.

Are you dissatisfied with your Heart of Darkness essay because it does not make enough of an impression? Try looking at our collection of examples and get more ideas on how to improve it!

🏆 Best Heart of Darkness Topic Ideas & Essay Examples

  1. Marlow in “Heart of Darkness”
    The third level of darkness that comes out from the novel is that of the tendency of every human being to be evil.
  2. Heart of Darkness and the Ceremony
    The plot is carefully developed by Silko such that in Tayo embarking on a journey full of personal ceremonies to bridge Native American traditions and those of the westerners.
  3. Joseph Conrad: The Heart of Darkness
    The thematic core of his writings examined the trials and tribulations of the human spirit/soul in relation to duty and honor as well as the pervading affects of world empires.
  4. Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’ and Joseph Conrad’s ‘The Heart of Darkness’. Theme Analysis
    Here, the essay compares how the theme of colonization is captured in the novels, and goes ahead to explain the techniques employed by each author in conveying the theme.
  5. Heart of Darkness – Analysis of Marlow’s Lie
    Both Marlow and Kurtz see the intended as the epitome of the naivete of women. According to Marlow, Kurtz is the “best of the best”.
  6. Feminism in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now [Essay]
    However, one realizes that she is voiceless in the novel, which highlights the insignificance of role of women in Heart of Darkness.
  7. Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness perhaps utilizes the importance of women and the role they played in the modernism period. Women have assumed the traditional role of men in the society of being the breadwinners of the […]
  8. Heart of Darkness
    The main theme of the story is colonialism and its effects not only to the Africans but also to the whites/colonizers.
  9. Taking a Glance into the Heart of Darkness: The Ambitions and Failure of the Civilization
    Indeed, the goals of the people, heading for the terra incognita of the distant and savage lands are not quite clear; wisely enough, Conrad does not disclose the aims of the travelers from the very […]
  10. Comparison of the Stories “Heart of Darkness” and “The Lamp at Noon”
    The atmosphere that is created, very much adds to the general theme and the relationship between the characters and the surrounding environment.”Heart of Darkness” and “The Lamp at Noon”, are stories where the setting plays […]
  11. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Heart of Darkness
    Oscar Wilde’s comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, is a satire of everything stuffy and constrictive in the 19th and early 20th century. The play explores the theme of the relations between the sexes.
  12. Heart of darkness
    Throughout his entire voyage he is exposed to the brutality of the European attitudes and the rules of colonialism. The colonial activities are given a harsh image by the author of the novella.
  13. Analysis of the Joseph Conrad’s Novel “Heart of Darkness”
    Although he is a philosophic wise man, the thrilled experience in Africa forces Marlow to take a different course in terms of his character. His curiosity and intelligence motivates him to explore Africa where he […]
  14. Chinua Achebe’s “An Image of Africa” and Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
    Reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness it is possible to see the cases of prejudiced opinion about Africa and its citizens, however, this point of view is aimed at presenting the situation which was in […]
  15. Stream-Of-Consciousness Technique: Joyce’s “The Dead” and Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
    In this part, the stream of consciousness is used to tap the emotions of the reader about the tour to the western part of Ireland.
  16. The use of stream-of-consciousness technique in The Dead and in The Heart of Darkness
    There is even more to it the deployment of stream-of-consciousness technique in The Dead, was also meant to encourage readers to consider the possibility that, contrary to the philosophical conventions of the 19th century, the […]
  17. Imperialism and Racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
    He lauds “the book’s anti-imperialist theme…a stinging indictment of the callous and genocidal treatment of the Africans, and other nationals, at the hands of the British and the European imperial powers,” and also details the […]
  18. Ethical Issues in “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad
    Kurtz is a great threat to the entire organization especially the powerful position of the manager of the company that Marlow was working with.
  19. Human Soul in the Story “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad
    The atmosphere that is created, very much adds to the general theme and the relationship between the characters and the surrounding environment.”Heart of Darkness” is a story where the setting plays a great role in […]

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