Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad

{ 1899 | Blackwood’s Magazine | 136 pgs }

Heart of Darkness appears on just about every list of “Books You Must Read to Be Considered a Real Reader,” and I know a lot of people read it in high school. Not me. I didn’t even read some of the assigned reading for my English classes (yes, you, Scarlet Letter). I naturally assumed that saving this classic for a time when I’m a mature and knowledgeable person would permit deeper understanding and appreciation for the book. Sadly, I appear to have been wrong.

Maybe CliffsNotes would have helped me?

I think I just didn’t quite connect with the book. It’s been a few months since I read it, and it feels…unmemorable. Except the memorable parts. I like the story-told-in-a-story format, but I missed the point of the literary technique here.

I’d really love to hear input on the significance of the book, what I ought to have gotten out of it, how I can look for a better connection or more meaning if I read it again (which will happen only if you’re very persuasive). Was this assigned reading for your high school English classes?

Buy Heart of Darkness on Amazon


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