Impressionist

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Heart of Darkness
By Joseph Conrad
Frame Narrative
Impressionism
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Ambiguous narrative style: reader must
interpret meaning
Characters are experiencing and have not yet
processed situation
An “emotional landscape” is depicted through
setting and imagery
Like impressionistic paintings, focusing too
closely on specifics makes it difficult to see
events clearly
Often avoids chronological telling of events
Wikipedia Definition:
The term Impressionism has also been
used to describe works of literature in
which a few select details suffice to
convey the sensory impressions of an
incident or scene. Impressionist literature
is closely related to Symbolism, with its
major exemplars being Baudelaire,
Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Verlaine.
Authors such as Virginia Woolf, D.H.
Lawrence, and Joseph Conrad have
written works that are Impressionistic in
the way that they describe, rather than
interpret, the impressions, sensations and
emotions that constitute a character‘s
mental life
.
Present Setting
Chronological Order
As a boy Marlow is
charmed by the river and
map of Africa.
Becomes a Sailor
Unemployed
Aunt Gets Him a Job
Begins Journey
The Blank Spaces Are Filled In
Gets His Orders in Belgium
Congo River
Meets Influential People
Returns Home
Prophet/Wise Advisor
Reading Lens
Doppelganger or Alter Ego
Meaning "double
walker" a
doppelganger is a
shadow-self that
accompanies
every human
Symbols
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Fog
How does Fog
impact senses?
Symbols
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Women
List the women


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Do they speak
Names
Representative of?
Symbols

The Congo River

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
What is the
relationship with the
white man?
Upstream vs.
downstream
Kurtz and Marlow’s
“handling” of the river
influence
Symbols

Ivory

How is ivory
representative of
imperialism?
Symbols

The “Whited
Sepulcher”
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Book of Matthew
allusion: “which indeed
appear beautiful
outward, but are within
full of dead men’s
bones, and of all
uncleanness.”
Brussels is the Whited
Sepulcher
STYLE
Diction and Syntax
Words, Words, Words
Heart of Darkness
The idleness of a passenger, my isolation
amongst all these men with whom I had no
point of contact, the oily and languid sea,
the uniform somberness of the coast,
seemed to keep me away from the truth of
things, within the toil of a mournful and
senseless delusion. The voice of the surf
heard now and then was a positive
pleasure, like the speech of a brother. It
was something natural, that had its
reason, that had a meaning.
Loose and Periodic Sentences
Marlow sat cross-legged
right aft, leaning against
the mizzenmast.
Marlow sat cross-legged
right aft, leaning against
the mizzenmast.
He had sunken cheeks, a
yellow complexion, a
straight back, an ascetic
aspect, and with his arms
dropped, the palms of
hands outwards, resembled
an idol
He had sunken cheeks, a
yellow complexion, a
straight back, an ascetic
aspect, and with his arms
dropped, the palms of
hands outwards, resembled
an idol.
Marlow sat cross-legged
right aft, leaning against
the mizzenmast.
Adverbial Phrases
Marlow sat cross-legged
right aft, leaning against
the mizzenmast.
He had sunken cheeks, a
yellow complexion, a
straight back, an ascetic
aspect, and with his arms
dropped, the palms of
hands outwards, resembled
an idol
Epithets or Adjective Phrases
He had sunken cheeks, a
yellow complexion, a
straight back, an ascetic
aspect, and with his arms
dropped, the palms of
hands outwards, resembled
Marlow’s first words about the
Manager
My first interview with the manager
was curious.
 PERIODIC SENTENCE
 SIMPLE SENTENCE

He was commonplace in complexion,
in feature, in manners, and in voice.
 LOOSE SENTENCE
 SIMPLE SENTENCE

He had no learning and no
intelligence.
 PERIODIC SENTENCE


Once when various tropical diseases
had laid low almost every ‘agent’ in
the station, he was heard to say,
‘Men who come out here should have
no entrails.’
 But
he was great.
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