Heart of Darkness

The Language of Desolation in Heart of Darkness 11th Grade

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness presents an exciting exploration of the vast ethnic and geographical depths of Africa and the Congo River. The novella is a tale of immense conquest of new ground and culture, but under the primary level of the plot, it reveals one’s journey to self-discovery on a distorted road, intertwined with impediments and enigmas. The author utilizes extremely rich vocabulary and a plethora of varied descriptions to evoke the sense of being obstructed from moving forward with the story. The extensive usage of elaborate, convoluted adjectives, which induce a feeling of faint confusion in the reader, effectively infuse the text with the ominous feeling of mystique and confusion. In addition to this, Conrad makes use of specific word choice to convey the bleak, desolate nature of the whole world of the novella. Through the diversity of the figurative language and the use of literary devices such as metaphors, gradation, symbolism and imagery, Joseph Conrad exemplifies the portentous, yet inscrutable and barren landscape of the world that the characters are forced to stagger through.

The novella carries the sense of imminent doom throughout the whole story, creating a feeling of hopelessness and...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 724 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4179 literature essays, 1402 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in