If you get the assignment to write an essay on the literary text of your own choice, I must say that Heart of Darkness is an excellent option. The text is loved by many readers and is easy to read. Besides, it has been studied by many researchers in the field of literature. Despite all these facts, it might still be rather hard for you to formulate a strong topic to write your essay on. Heart of Darkness touches on numerous problems and issues, so you should think hard before selecting a direction of developing your essay. Keep in mind that you should focus on the original idea as it is very important to provide your own viewpoint on the chosen topic.
Choosing a proper topic is not a piece of cake even for a straight A-student. So, do not get discouraged in case you spend more time than you expected on formulating the topic of your paper. To ease this task, we have provided a list of topics relevant to Heart of Darkness:
1. Which groups of people does the author focus on in Heart of Darkness. What are the similarities and differences between them?
2. Explain which proto-modernist literary devices the author uses. Focus on their importance in the literary text.
3. What is the role of introducing Kurtz’s fiancée in the ending of Heart of Darkness?
4. Why does Conrad change the narration type within the novella?
5. What is the role of water in the novella?
6. How are the natives portrayed in Heart of Darkness?
7. What obstacles stand in the way of the protagonist in the novella?
8. Joseph Conrad set up double audience as the narration includes the reader and the audience listening to the narrator. What is the role of such approach? What is its impact?
9. What are the features of the development of Kurtz as a character?
10. While reading, one might observe that Marlow keeps distance with the audience. Why can’t the audience relate to his narration in your opinion?
11. What was the author’s purpose when he introduced two competing heroes into his novella?
12. What does darkness symbolize in the novella? Why is it used in the title?
13. How does Conrad relate mental health and the physical surroundings?
14. How does the fact that Kurtz lies to Marlow’s fiancée affect the character of the former?
15. What are the place and the role of women in the novella?
So, you have got familiarized with the approximate list of topics for your future essay. Still, the most important thing for you is to read the novella thoroughly and attentively. While reading, you might come up with your own ideas of essay development. Make sure you provide strong arguments and interpret the facts. In case you still have difficulties when choosing the topic, consult your professor. He/ she will surely guide you and probably inspire you for some fresh ideas.