Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness and "Hollow Men"

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and "Hollow Men," by T.S. Eliot have several comparative themes, though each author has an entirely separate way of conveying them. Each work displays a darkened and dismal mood, separation, and obscurity, which are depicted through different characters and environments. The authors both have a disdain for the hierarchy in society, which they cannot escape, and the destructive consequences that occur because of a higher authority's demands. And, both authors portray characters who are observant, though one observes the tactile, and the other looks deeper into the spirituality of himself and others.

Conrad and Eliot make darkness, death, impending doom, and separation the main focus in these two pieces of work. On page one of Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses descriptions like "haze, dark, mournful, brooding, and gloom" to set the general scene and mood for the continuum of the novel. Eliot sets up a similar scene by using "death" several times throughout the poem (line 14), and parallels life with "fading" or "dying stars" (line 28, 44, and 54). In lines 39-44 Eliot even goes so far as to give a morbid depiction of a graveyard,

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