"Heart of Darkness" - Joseph Conrad's Writing Style (including allusions, imagery, & references)

Essay by vlcmbrahHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2006

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As numerous themes and a suspenseful plot give "Heart of Darkness" the characteristics of a superior novel, the one feature that primarily stands out is Joseph Conrad's writing style. Not only is the story full of vague imagery and descriptions that the reader must reflect on to fully comprehend, but it also contains an abundance of indistinct references to its characters. Since Conrad was not a native English speaker, it was truly an impressive feat that he could write so vividly. His style includes a great deal of intricacy even though it seems unclear at times. Conrad's style lacks order and clarity as criticized by countless readers, but obviously they never discovered the deeper meaning to the novel. As for the blurred references to the characters, the reader must realize the significance to such an issue. Although it may appear as if Conrad was trying to confuse the reader, his target was to create a work of art, not just a novel.

Throughout the novel, Conrad continues to use ambiguous allusions to many of the characters that Marlow encounters. In the beginning of Heart of Darkness, Conrad cleverly refers to a handful of those characters as he begins to retell his story of the journey down the Congo River. "The Lawyer - the best of old fellows - ... The Director, satisfied the anchor had good hold ..." (2) clearly introduces and illustrates Conrad's style of writing. It is at first unclear why a writer would not give a character a definite name and rather a title of his occupation, but nonetheless the reader would eventually realize the meaning to this. As Marlow reaches deeper into his tale, occupations begin to pop up as often as weeds along side a road. "I learned he was the...