Heart of Darkness1
Joseph Conrad, like many authors, used his own experiences for the basis of his novels. Specifically, Conrad’s journey on the Congo River as captain of a West African river steamer formed the basis for his novel Heart of Darkness. In this novel, the narrator of the story, Marlow, Conrad's protagonist, travels up the Congo in search of Kurtz, an ivory trader, and eventually ends up in the “heart of darkness.” Conrad also used his pessimistic view of life for the basis of Heart of Darkness. Conrad’s fatalistic attitude is evident when he explained to his friend R. B. Cunninghame Graham: “There is...a machine. It evolved itself...and behold!--it knits....It knits us in and it knits us out. It has knitted time, space, pain, death, corruption, despair and all the illusions--and nothing matters. I'll admit however that to look at the remorseless process is sometimes amusing.” In the Heart of Darkness, three eviden...