‘’The reaches opened before us and closed behind us, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.’’
First published in 1902, Conrad's story describes intensely and in stark detail how greed can so easily drive civilised and enlightened men to revert to primitive savagery. Set against the background of the European ivory trade in Africa, 'Heart Of Darkness' is narrator Marlow's account of his journey in search of the legendary and mystical Kurtz, the most successful trader of them all, who is now reported to be ill. Marlow's quest becomes both a harrowing journey of self-discovery and haunting description of the brutality of colonial exploitation; while Kurtz himself is one of the most memorable creations in modern fiction.
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