Heart of Darkness: A Graphic Novel by Catherine Anyango is a must-have.
In The Guardian Interview, Anyango tells how her richly-detailed drawings reflect the dense style of Joseph Conrad's savage colonial story.
“Joseph Conrad” by James Montgomery Flagg.
Literary Context of the Novel -- Overview
Joseph Conrad Society -- Student and scholarly resources
BBC Radio -- In Our Time, 40-minute discussion of the novel and its contemporary implications.
Travel on the Congo -- a contemporary journey up the Congo River (Atlantic Monthly).
Good Reads has more than six pages of quotes which could easily be used for journal prompts, review, passage analyses, etc.
Matt Kish’s Illustrated Text offers a very different visual interpretation of the novel.
Related to Heart of Darkness
Poem Packet One -- Eternity Blues by Hayden Carruth, Billiards by Walker Gibson, Joseph Conrad by Ruth Schuler Wildes. Gruesome World Capitalist World by Heiner Muller, and no men, if men are gods by e e cummings.
Poem Packet Two -- White Mans Burden by Rudyard Kipling and Brown Mans Burden by Henry Labouchère.
Poem Packet Three -- The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot with analysis.
King Leopolds Soliloquy -- PDF reproduction of the full original pamphlet by Mark Twain.
Ota Benga -- Pygmy from the St. Louis Worlds Fair displayed temporarily in the Bronx Zoo. Includes NPR and New York Times stories, biography, and contemporary biographical poetry.
“The Rhodes Colossus” by Edward Linley Sambourne. Punch Magazine (10 December 1892). Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes, after he announced plans for a telegraph line and railroad from Cape Town to Cairo.
Free Full Text Editions
Downloadable .PDF Files
Downloadable Audio Versions
Applied Practice -- Set of 12 passage selections with 7-10 AP Style multiple-choice questions per passage and free-response questions. Answer key and scoring guides with detailed answer explanations. Sampler.pdf
Book Club Kit -- Great website with free kits for classic books and affordable kits for less familiar titles. HOD kit comes complete with bookmark, introductory material, directions for a tea party with Polish sweets. Heart-of-Darkness-Kit.pdf
Orson Welless Mercury Theater adaptation of the novel is intriguing, especially in light of Welless long term desire to produce his own film of the novel. Poster Designs for the never-produced film are compelling works of art. Very film noir.
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is among the most studied, debated, contested, and theorized works of Western literature. The novel can be viewed through many critical lenses.
My Literary Criticism WebQuest has students select a particular literary lens -- Post-colonial, Psychoanalytical, Reader Response. Deconstruction, Feminist, and Archetypal -- through which to view Heart of Darkness, answer specific questions from that perspective, and analyze five passages in a Literary Response Journal from that same perspective. (Adapted from and inspired by Heart of Darkness WebQuest designed by Robert Rozema, now a professor at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.)
Purdue OWL Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism -- Best of the Best. A detailed overview of major literary approaches. Handout (26 pages) PDF format.
Controlled Research Packet
Writing a good literary criticism research paper requires two very different skills --
I have found it useful to provide shorter accessible articles as a packet for a controlled research paper.
My Literary Criticism WebQuest uses other articles.
Prestwick House Critical Perspectives Unit -- Excellent unit exploring these interpretative lenses -- Mythological / Archetypal, New Historicism, and Psychological / Freudian. Several activites for each lens.
Shmoop Video Overview is witty and seductive.
60-Second Recap is a great introduction to the novel. Quirky and clever. Actually 2 minutes.
Thug Notes is certainly PG-13 or more, but insightful introduction anyway.
Video SparkNotes uses interesting original illustrations for its overview.
Trailer for 1993 Turner movie with John Malkovich as Kurtz and Tim Roth as Marlow.
Trailer for Heart of Darkness novel actually using clips from Apocalypse Now.
Playhouse 90 with Boris Karloff as Kurtz and Roddy McDowell as Malowe. Loose strange adaptation.
Introduction -- Short PowerPoint introducing the novel.
Heart of Darkness -- Longer PowerPoint covering author, background, critical approaches, etc. Better after reading.
Longman -- PowerPoint referencing the Longman anthology. Very text heavy, and informative.
Critical Reading -- One passage with multiple-choice and composition questions.
Dark Heart of Leopold -- Focuses on King Leopold and his atrocities, exploration and development of the Belgian Congo.
“White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling -- By stanzas.
The Infographic below is a contemporary way to combine content and visual representations. Directions, examples, and links are available for Infographics on my Current Events page. Click on image for full-size infographic.
Updated 1 September 2020.
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