Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer

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Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad

Dark allegory describes the narrator's journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad's finest, most enigmatic story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743487658
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/01/2004
Series: Enriched Classics Series
Edition description: Enriched Classic
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

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. 23 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months 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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josef Konrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is truly one of the most inspired pieces of literature ever. A vast majority of the story is portrayed in dialogue, but it just goes to show that some of the most haunting and beautiful images are the things people say which then form in your mind. The beginning of the novel is a bit hard to grasp. But, after a dozen pages, you'll be hooked. Konrad learned his English from Shakespeare. I think he did a fine thing with that knowledge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was forced to read this book as a 10th grader and I am glad because. The depth of the psyches of the characters convinced me that anyone can be corrupt. These works, strangely enough, also sparked an interest in politics that I know have. These works also convinced me that I was capable of anything, and I can really identify with the captain in 'The Secret Sharer' and Marlow in 'Heart of Darkness'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was having hard time to read this book because English is my second language and the Author used many difficult words. However, the author himself spoke English as his second languages which encourages me to read through this book. I really enjoyed this book. The story is very deep and unique. I also enjoyed the prequal of the heart of darkness,'youth'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heart of Darkness was a truly excellent and profound read. Conrad accurately depicts the human condition, especially that which accompanies discovering oneself and discovering mankind. The narrator, Conrad's endearing Marlow, travels of the river, deep into the 'heart of darkness,' to find Kurtz, a man who has allowed the savage within himself to be expressed. Marlow soon learns that this capacity for evil lies within himself and within all men. To put it in Conrad's terms, 'The mind of man is capable of anything, because everything is in it--all the past as well as all the future.' We as people are able to act with goodness as well as evil; it is up to the individual to decide which is expressed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was by far the worst book I have ever read. It deserves to be burnt and never found again!