This essay consists of two separate parts but the intention is that both these parts will prove to be relevant from the point of view of what this essay sets out to study. The first part will present Joseph Conrad's life and some of his works and the latter part will consist of a comparison of two of Conrad's works, Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent. In this essay I will begin from two assumptions, namely, that both the works mentioned above include clearly identifiable similarities in their narration, theme and method, and, that Conrad's own experiences and views have had great effect on both works.
The method of this essay is firstly to discuss Conrad's life and then to try to find out what kind of similarities and differences Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent contain and also to try to discover how Conrad's own experiences relate to these works ( and his other works in general). I will also try to relate Conrad's works to some other writers' styles whenever I am capable of doing so despite of my poor knowledge of Conrad's contemporaries and despite of the fact that I was unable to get hold of such works as Conrad and His Contemporaries which surely would have been useful. My sources for carrying out this task are Conrad himself, his critics and my own opinions/interpretations of the two works by Conrad.
In dealing with the life of Joseph Conrad I will focus on the period before he settled in England and started his actual writing career and so I will not present his life after his trip to the Congo and nor will I deal with how it affected him afterwards. I take this approach simply because in my opinio...
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...r to be able to understand what is happening.
In conclusion, both The Secret Agent and Heart of Darkness are loosely based on reality; the former on a historical incident and the latter on Conrad's experiences of Congo. Both works have surprisingly much in common and, in my opinion, are also great works of art.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 1902. New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1990.
Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Agent (1907) New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1990.
Fleishman, Avrom. Condrad's Politics: Community and Anarchy in the Fiction of Joseph Conrad. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1967.
O'Prey, Paul. 'Introduction', 'Heart of Darkness'. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983).
Warner, Oliver Joseph Conrad Longmans, Green and Co., London, New York, Toronto. 1950.
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