Kean Quest


Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is regarded as one of the greatest novellas, which reveal the darkness of humanity in colonial activities. In this novella, the character Kurtz’s experiences shed light on the nature of colonialism—he is inspired by the ideology of enlightenment and goes to Congo, and soon he becomes crazy about the ivory trade. At the end of his life, his last words are “The horror! The horror!” that are usually explained as the symbol of the “heart of darkness” of the Belgian Congo in terms of imperialism that brings violence and brutality. However, if we look at the novella from a dialogic perspective across space and time, the novella can open a “gate of light” of confessional quality into the dark period of the imperial enlightenment-era. This study will explore the “light” in Kurtz’s last words from the dialogic aspect and the theory of chronotope by Bakhtin. The brand new perspective of analyzing this novella helps us understand deeper about the imperial history and human nature.