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Discuss the modern crises in Heart of Darkness

            What is the nature and scope of the modernist crises as depicted in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"?.
             In order to answer this question, one must firstly consider the traits of modernist writing. It was an attempt to break free from the confinements of the Victorian era, and the restrictions and predictability this enforced. It was a time of rapid change, and writers of this time including Conrad, attempted to confront and indeed embrace this change, in their writing. This was accomplished in "Heart of Darkness" at least, by a new and innovative style of narration, and by the absence of definition and the addition of questioning of almost everything within the text. The reader knows nothing for certain, only that which the narrator chooses to reveal.
             When considering the modernist crises as depicted in Heart of Darkness, one must not regard the idea's of colonialism as the only aspect, but rather one must also cogitate Marlow's own individual crises and the psychological journey that is undertaken. (It should be noted, that attention to psychological detail was a very new and modernist approach to writing.) In the following essay, I aim to discuss the nature and scope of the modernist crises in relation to the external environment i.e. Marlow's journey up the Congo, colonialism etcetera, and also Marlow's personal and psychological crises, which makes this a truly modernist text.
             Modernist crises; colonialism.
             The setting of this modernist crises is that of an English steamboat journeying through a mysterious and foreign climate, that of the Congo river. The crises, is that with modernism comes greed and the desire for power and possessiveness. This idea is present within the persona's of Marlow's fellow sailors, and to a degree within Marlow himself. However, it was not he who introduced this concept into the wilds of Africa. This lust for "more", the modernist ideal, precedes Marlow in the figure of Kurtz, and also in the more vague representation of late nineteenth century England and its ideals.

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