In Heart of Darkness,
Conrad attempts to come to terms with the brutal and exploitative nature of the European colonization of Africa, using as a backdrop the bloody history of the Congo Free State. His narrator, Marlow, travels into the heart of the Congo to retrieve Mr. Kurtz, a promising young agent who has disappeared into the bush. Throughout Marlow's harrowing journey, Conrad maintains an unflinching focus on the crassness and avarice of which human society is capable, ultimately revealing that "the horror" Kurtz fears lies within us all.
If the brilliance of Heart of Darkness lies in Conrad's ability to express the unspoken truths of imperialism in Africa, The Secret Sharer captures the spirit of the times a little closer to Conrad's own home. Wedding the suspense of the detective novel to an exploration of a tense and troubled period of great social upheaval, the novella centers on a tale of intrigue set in London's political underground. Presented together in this Collector's Edition, Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent provide a satisfying glimpse of the range and power of Conrad's artistic vision.
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