Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

by Joseph Conrad


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945644368
Publisher: Innovative Eggz LLC
Publication date: 11/14/2016
Pages: 106
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

Conrad was born on 12/3/1857, in a part of Russia that had once belonged to Poland. His parents were members of the landed gentry, but as ardent Polish patriots they suffered considerably for their political views. Orphaned at 11, Conrad attended school in Cracow but concluded that there was no future for him in occupied Poland, and at 16 he left forever. The sea was Conrad's love and career for the next 20 years; in the British merchant navy, he rose finally to captain, sailing to Australia and Borneo and surviving at least one shipwreck. In 1890 he became captain of a Congo River steamer, but this led only to disillusionment and ill health and this would become the basis for Conrad's masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. Reluctantly leaving the merchant service, he settled in England and completed his first novel, Almayer's Folly, already begun at sea. His subsequent works, many of which drew upon his sea experiences, include The Nigger of the "Narcissus" (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), The Secret Sharer (1910), and Chance (1913). The man who was 21 before he spoke a word of English is now regarded as one of the superb English stylists of all time. Conrad died at his desk in 1924.

Date of Birth:

December 3, 1857

Date of Death:

August 3, 1924

Place of Birth:

Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia

Place of Death:

Bishopsbourne, Kent, England


Tutored in Switzerland. Self-taught in classical literature. Attended maritime school in Marseilles, France

Table of Contents

Chronology of Joseph Conrad's Life and WorkXVII
Historical Context of Heart of DarknessXIX
The Secret Sharer1
Heart of Darkness61
Interpretive Notes193
Critical Excerpts205
Questions for Discussion213
Suggestions for the Interested Reader215

What People are Saying About This

Joyce Carol Oates

One of the great, if troubling, visionary works of Western civilization.

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Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
ajjacobson on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This intellectually stimulating novel follows a man named Marlow on his adventure up the Congo river and into the middle of Africa, or "Heart of Darkness". He is a steam boat captain for a British Ivory-trading corporation. His duty is to first repair his damaged ship, then travel up the river to bring back the infamous Mr. Kurtz. Kurtz is a mysterious but highly intelligent man who somehow brings in boatloads of Ivory for the company. Marlow must embark on his journey to find Kurtz, to see if he's still alive, and perhaps unravel some of his secrets.One of the main characters, Mr. Kurtz, has embodied the idea of a Utopian society. He is perfectly happy living in the jungle with no other people from the civilized world. He prefers to make friends with the natives and spend his time digging up fossilized ivory. He becomes enthralled with this savage lifestyle and longs to remain in the jungle and even die there. When Marlow tries to get Mr. Kurtz to leave the station, Mr. Kurtz dies on the inside. His Utopian, wild, native life has been ruined. He has been thrown back into the dystopian society of Europe. The "white" people have ruined the Utopian societies of the jungle. They bring greed and slavery into a world that did not know such things. A dystopian society is thrust upon the natives and Mr. Kurtz (who has practically become a native himself).This was a very interesting book and overall it was very intriguing. It was a very difficult book to read, however. The wording was complicated at times and often the narrator, Marlow, went off on rants that would continue for pages and pages. If the storyline had been uninterrupted by these rants, the book would have been a lot better. This is definitely not a book you want to read for relaxation purposes, it takes a lot of thinking! Perhaps someone a little older would enjoy it more than I did.
sarjah on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I will admit that its possible I didn't get this book, but I thought there was a large buildup and then a small payoff. Other things about this book were good the writing style was great and the story is engaging but when you finally meet Kurtz you expect something more than he is.
DCArchitect on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Conrad's engrossing examination of the nature of man, civilization and madness in the form of a dark adventure is also a damning examination of European colonialism.Full of exacting descriptions of unresolved feelings and experiences, the book worms its way into your immagination.A classic of 20th century lit. for very good reason
osunale on LibraryThing 3 months ago
The Secret Sharer is certainly the better of these two stories (but perhaps that is simply because I find the maritime setting generally more appealing than the colonial Africa one), though Heart of Darkness is one of the most compelling tales of human darkness that I've ever come across. HoD reads like a psychological thriller with the intelligence and insight needed to back it up. Intense and trudging, this story from the most brilliant of novelists does not make light or easy reading but is well worth any effort the reader makes to comprehend the primal darkness of the soul.
Jeyra on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Although they are never directly addressed, the wounds inflicted by Leopold's rape of the Congo are visible everywhere, and for that reason alone, it is worth reading. The whole journey into the darkness of the human soul, too, of course. Appropriate reading for anyone.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Name: Jaeon Ok Age: 18 Height: 6'7 Weight: 150 pounds Blond eyebrows, black hair, wiry build.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Emilia Remy Heartson. /// Age: 17 /// Gp: Hermes. /// Mp: Lucile U Heartson. /// Gender: Male(name is misleading). /// Looks: He has messy black hair that barely falls over his grey eyes, his skin lightly tanned. He stands up to 6'4 and has a medium frame. He wears black pants along with neon tshirts. On his wrists are jelly bracelets because those are the sh<_>it. He wears a dream catcher pendant around his neck. /// Weapon(s): He has two swort swords and a round sheild. ///Powers: Hyperactive Senses. /// Rper: ButterflyEffect
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slowly cools down
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In ¿The Secret Sharer¿, the main conflict is between a captain on a ship and an identical double of his. The captain while on night watch found this ¿secret sharer¿ of the captain¿s life. The captain finds this man swimming in the nude, lets him on board, puts a robe over him and hides the man in his closet. The captain risks his position as captain, his life and the lives of his men and ship. There are a couple of positives in this book. ¿¿the sea lightning played about his limbs at every stir, and he appeared in it ghastly, silvery, fishlike¿¿ (23), this is one stupendous example of Conrad¿s use of diction to illustrate the scene. Conrad utilizes another outstandingly excellent use of diction by explaining suspense the reader and captain feels. The captain questions the steward where he hung the captain¿s coat and the steward responds by saying, ¿In the bathroom, sir¿¿ (50), which is the exact location the secret sharer was. Which, because no one sees the secret sharer, leads to the idea that the captain is possibly insane. However, there are a couple of negatives one would consider about this book. The over use of, ¿¿the secret sharer of my life¿¿ (37), becomes quite agitating. Another negative is, what happens to the captain and his secret sharer?
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read...Especially for a classic...It used great language and vocabulary to capture the mind...And it greatly goes into depth of the evil in our souls...That dude below that said something about it being one of the worst books, definitely doesn't know what they are talking about...They must not be that literate and didn't understand the vocabulary...but...like I said...This is a great book for all you book lovers out there...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I urge anyone who reads this book to read Chinua Achebe's response, it is extremely eye opening to many. This is undoubtedly one of the great stories of all time, but the strength of Conrad's writing often causes the reader to accept the inherent racism in the novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I picked up this book I knew I was in for quite a challenge. I am a sophmore in high school, and this book is recommended for advanced seniors. I read it and at first I had a feeling of slight uncertainty, but the adventure sucked me into it. As I read this I discovered that Joseph Conrad was bitter about Imperial rule in Africa. The bitterness shows in Conrad through Marlow's character. There was a very special pull I felt through Kurtz' character. That was darkness the theme of the novel which I felt Conrad excecuted beautifully. This will continue be a timeless classic through out English liturature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Conrad's intense look at the nature of evil in all of us is spellbinding. This classic derserves six stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The dark places of a human soul is the region that Joseph Conrad so brilliantly explored. In the depths of the congo jungle it is man's capacity for good and evil.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Heart of Darkness, every publisher's dream. All I can say is that it preserves itself because nothing changes. Conrad, quite the philanthropic artist.