Book Review: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a fiction book which is set in the 19th century in the Congo Free state controlled by Belgian. Conrad uses his European heritage and more modern views to allow for the readers to be submerged into the scramble for Africa and European society at the time.

This book is a very complex, with a lot symbolism, rhetorical devices, and sophisticated language. Heart of Darkness is a shorter book at 77 pages but don’t let that fool you as it is very dense. I really enjoyed this book as it had many important themes regarding the spread of colonialism and made me question whether or not every item had a deeper hidden meaning. In the book as the main character travels through his hero’s journey and farther into Africa we can see the horrors of colonialism on the African peoples, the descent into ones id or their primal instincts, and the prevailing societal values at the time.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves a deep and thoughtful read. Due to some of the outdated and complex language it may be difficult to read and that is why I would also recommend the graphic novel adaptation of the book. It still gets the same themes and elements as the book but simply conveys these through images that are just as deep and appealing.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

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