Friday, April 18, 2014

Reading Period 31: April 16-22: Joseph Conrad


In the textbook, read the section on Conrad and also "The Secret Sharer." (p 774-802.)
Read section 1 of Heart of Darkness, available for free online here
(Note that Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness are part of the First Chapter Challenge!)


Art Connection:

Artist Matt Kish undertook the illustration of Heart of Darkness, page by page, in an abstract style. Selections from his edition of the book can be seen on his blog, along with the quotes that inspired each piece. I'll also bring my copy to class. Please choose one scene in the section that you read, and illustrate it using an abstraction, in the style of Matt Kish. 

History Connection:

Conrad wrote about a time when European colonization of Africa was in full swing. What was the "Scramble for Africa"? What were the factors that caused it and who were the main players in this power grab on the African continent? Write a 250 word essay about the events of this period, particularly in the 1880s. 

Writing Connection:

The story The Secret Sharer is told from the point of view of the captain of the ship, who rescues and hides the murderer Leggatt, chief mate of the Sephora. Write a 250 word diary entry from the point of view of Leggatt. How would he see the captain? Does he have any further secrets that he does not reveal in the story? What tone would his state of mind cause him to take on in his diary? What diction? 


1. What time period was Marlow remembering out loud, as the Nellie is waiting for the tide to turn on the Thames?
2. According to Marlow, what is the difference between a conqueror and a colonist?
3. On what river was Marlow desperate to get appointed as captain of a steamer?
4. When Marlow goes to Brussels to sign up for the voyage, what two strange people does he meet in the company office and what are they doing?
5. What strange measurement does the doctor take of Marlow when he examines him for the voyage?
6. What are two tasks Marlow’s ship carries out on the way to the river where he will get his own steamer?
7. Marlow disagrees with a word that’s used to describe the natives when they’re being shelled from the French ship. What is that word?
8. What is the first evidence Marlow witnesses up close that the whites are mistreating the blacks?
9. After almost falling into a ravine and discovering the broken drainage pipes, Marlow finds a group of people lying in the shade. What are they doing?
10. Why does Marlow call the Company’s chief accountant a “miracle”?
11. What precious substance is the Company extracting from the African interior?
12. Who is Kurtz?
13. Why did the fainting white man who accompanied Marlow to the central station say he had come to Africa?
14. What had happened to the steamer that Marlow was supposed to command?
15. Marlow meets an aristocrat whose job it is to make bricks. Why is it sarcastic when Marlow calls him the Brickmaker of Central Station?
16. What do the rivets represent? Why is Marlow fixated on rivets?

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