Enigma of Obscurity in Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness


  • Camilla Diana B. H. Assistant Professor St. Xavier’s College for Women Aluva, Kerala, India
  • Dr. Tessy Anthony C. Associate Professor and Research Guide St. Teresa’s College Ernakulam, Kerala, India


Darkness, Colonialism, Women


The realities of life gets articulated in new forms in the works of Joseph Conrad. Joseph Conrad, a Polish born British writer, is noted for the open portrayal of the harsh realities of life in his works. The  celebrated works of the author are The Outcasts of the Islands, The Nigger of the â€Narcissusâ€, Lord Jim and The Heart of Darkness. The Heart of Darkness is a world famous novella from the master mind of Joseph Conrad. The Heart of Darkness is the story of the Voyage of the ship Nellie to the heart of the African Continent. The story introduces us to the life of Kurtz and Marlow. As we deeply penetrate to the inner depths of the novella we will realise that the novella is not as innocent as it seems.

 The work gives us a notion that the narrator of the work is questioning imperialism and colonisation but in reality the narrator is knowingly or unknowingly adores and sanctifies the process of colonialism. Chinua Achebe opens out the dual identity that the novella communicates to the reader. The very word darkness becomes a part of the title and projects multi layers of meanings. In this research paper titled ‘Rereading Darkness in Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness’ the researcher endeavours to reread the several notions of darkness hidden in the novella.


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Primary Source
Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness. Coyote Canyon Press, 2007.
Secondary Source
Achebe, Chinua. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Hopes
and Impediments: Selected Essays ig6y-8y. London: Heinemann, 1988.
Bloom, Harold. Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer. Chelsea
House, 2000.
McParland, Robert, and Harold Bloom. Blooms How to Write about Joseph Conrad.
Blooms Literary Criticism, 2011.