Heart of Darkness
The Concept of Truth in Heart of Darkness
"The inner truth is hidden-luckily luckily"
-Marlow, Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad's renowned novella, Heart of Darkness, is a work which has sparked great controversy and heated debate with regards to its meaning. Since its publication over one hundred years ago, countless interpretations of the novella have arisen. Indeed, "its imagery has been described in detail, resonances from Dante, Milton, the Bible, the Upanishads, invoked; its philosophical position is argued variously to be Schopenhauerian, Nietzschean, nihilist, existentialist, or Christian, its psychology, Freudian, Jungian, Adlerian..."(Bloom, 57). It is possible that Conrad intentionally left his novella ambiguous and open to so many interpretations in order to convey its true message; namely, that there is no truth in life, no real meaning, only ambiguity. While this statement itself may sound ambiguous, as illustrated in the following paragraphs, through the set-up of the story itself, Marlow's journey, Kurtz's journey, and its inconclusive ending, Conrad expresses this concept of meaninglessness and unattainable truth.
The novella is set up in an ambiguous fashion from the beginning. While Marlow is the character who...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 943 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7598 literature essays, 2152 sample college application essays, 318 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.
Already a member? Log in