Heart Of Darkness And Frankenstein Essay

Heart Of Darkness And Frankenstein Essay-26
This leaves him distanced from the story, and allows him to make rather outlandish comments throughout, as he can claim that the views expressed in the book are not his but Marlow’s.The framed narrative makes it difficult to hold Conrad responsible for the more controversial opinions expressed in the novella, for example: ‘But what thrilled you was the thought of their humanity – like yours – the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Yes, it was ugly enough’ Throughout the book Marlow refers the natives as ‘ugly’ and strips them of humanity.The abuse of power is also a key theme in the novella itself.

They have no respect for the natives in the Congo and impose their superior culture on the people, and even have the arrogance to display it almost as a favour to the seemingly subservient race.

The theme of oppression is constant throughout the book, and is highlighted dramatically towards the closing of the novella when it is revealed that Kurtz’s abuse of power has driven him mad, and left him to surround his house with a line of natives heads displayed on sticks.

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The second title of the book ‘the modern Prometheus’ implies that Frankenstein has power comparable to that of a God, however the novel shows that the abuse of this power leaves Frankenstein isolated and eventually he ends up under the power of his own creation.

Heart Of Darkness And Frankenstein Essay

One could interpret this as a warning, that the book is telling people not to interfere with powers that should be beyond human control.

Looking at Conrad’s masterpiece from a formalist point of view would certainly lead us to believe that he is distancing himself from his work to avoid racist claims that comments like this are inevitably going to provoke, however during the period that Conrad wrote the book (the late 1890s) framed narratives were very popular, -for example wuthering heights- and one could argue that he is simply writing in accordance with the fashions at the time of the book’s conception.

However one can conclude that the use of the framed narrative shows that Conrad is abusing his power as the novelist, particularly if you look at the text from a formalist point of view.

Secondly the idea that the white western men have a superior culture and feel the need to impose their civility on the outrageous and almost in-human savages inhabiting the Congo is the most obvious abuse of power implicated in the short story.

Overall the abuse of power in both novels is shown to end badly for the party involved.


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