Course Hero Logo

Heart of Darkness | Study Guide

Joseph Conrad

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 5 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Heart of Darkness Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed June 5, 2023.


Course Hero, "Heart of Darkness Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed June 5, 2023,

Heart of Darkness | Infographic

Share Embed
Click to copy code

Check out this Infographic to learn more about Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Artboard 1Knitting OldWomanPlacid detachment from crueltyGrisly FenceStanding indifference to calculated depravityDrumsUnnerving vitality of native lifeSymbolsThemesGreed & ImperialismWhile the stated goal of European colonization is to civilize native people, it is truly after resources. Hypocrisy & IndifferenceThe Company believes Kurtz's methods excessively brutal, yet overlooks its own ruthlessness. Eloquence vs. DepravityKurtz's eloquence nearly justifies his reputation as a great man in spite of his depravity. Kurtz, Part IIIhe horror! The horror!AuthorThe RussianYouthful harlequin-like figure, enchanted by KurtzHelmsmanDependable African for whom Marlow gains respect The JungleEver-present antagonist KurtzEvasive manager of the Inner StationManagerContemptible manager of the Central StationMarlowProtagonist, pilots the steamboatSet in 1890 at the height of European colonialism, Heart of Darkness tells the story of Marlow and his voyage through the Congo as a riverboat commander. As he penetrates deeper into the center of the Congo, he's unprepared for the brutality he sees and becomes obsessed with finding an evasive, charismatic ivory trader named Kurtz.Journey Into DarknessMAIN CHARACTERSThe Polish-born Conrad served 16 years in the British merchant navy. His novella is thought to draw on details from a journal he kept while piloting a steamboat up the Congo River, where he experienced the ruthless depravity of European colonization.JOSEPH CONRAD1857-1924Heart of Darknessby the Numbers9Conrad's age when he sailed up the CongoAge at which Conrad decided he'd someday visit Africa32Release of film Apocalypse Now, which updates the setting to the Vietnam War1979