Literature Study GuidesHeart Of Darkness

Heart of Darkness | Study Guide

Joseph Conrad

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Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 6 July 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Heart of Darkness Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 6, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed July 6, 2020.


Course Hero, "Heart of Darkness Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed July 6, 2020,


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Joseph Conrad

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Heart of Darkness has two first-person narrators. An unidentified man sets the scene of the story: a group of friends have gathered on a yacht on the River Thames, waiting for the tide to turn so they can head to sea. Three are identified by their former professions: the Lawyer, the Accountant, and the Director of Companies. Only Marlow is named. His account, a retrospective of his time in Africa, dominates the narrative. Marlow's tale is framed by the commentary of the fifth, unidentified, man.


Heart of Darkness is narrated primarily in the past tense.

About the Title

The title alludes to the essential concerns of this modernist novella: the mysteries of Africa, "the dark continent," from the colonialist point of view and the equally compelling mysteries of the ignorance, evil, and fear residing in the human heart.


This study guide and infographic for Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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