ENGA10H3 Lecture 3: ENGA10 lecture 3 notes Heart of Darkness

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Published on 12 Oct 2016
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ENGA10-Lecture 3 Heart of Darkness
Theme: Superstructure and Capitalism
The main points of Heart of Darkness and similarity to Dorian Gray:
The information we receive is not true or right, it's just information (similar to how Kurtz
receives information from people like the manager, but the information is not right, it’s
just from their perspective)
Adapting to something is not the same as learning (the “savages” as so called by Kurtz,
are not learning to adapt per se, they’re just trying to survive by adapting)
Heart of Darkness ties in with Dorian Gray: Dorian Gray doesn't have any choice in the
roads he took because of Lord Henry and lack of choice is basically lacking free will
similar to how the Congo natives don’t have any free will, they just serve for capitalism
Three hierarchies of knowledge:
-Info
- Knowledge
-Wisdom*
*With wisdom being at the top, because information and knowledge is nothing without wisdom,
because wisdom comes from experience. Knowledge is just knowing, wisdom is what you do
with the knowledge
e.g. If you walk around in a circle and you suddenly realize you’re walking around in a circle
that’s knowledge, wisdom would be you deciding to stop walking in a circle.
Marlow (heart of darkness) is just an uninformed spectator
Dorian learns a lot, but is not inspired by anything. In Heart of Darkness Kurtz is
inspiring to others but can find no inspiration himself
Dorian is our first modern figure of CAPITALISM!! He takes from the weak without a
second thought, similar to everyone in Heart of Darkness taking from the natives
Kurtz thinks he's basically a "light" to these "slaves" at first, but then later learns the
truth, except he doesn’t take the truth very well at all, similar to how Dorian doesn’t like
his truth which is the painting, or in short the superstructure
Words mean nothing without its counterpart. (E.g. Light means nothing without darkness.
lack doesn't exist without white)
Kurtz is an idealist
Racism and capitalism is inseparable because both needs power structure to be present
By the time you get to the superstructure you can't do anything to change it, just like
Marlow and Dorian gray can’t. In Dorian’s case he can’t change his painting and in
Marlow’s case he can’t change capatilism
Binaries are the basis of communication (e.g. weak vs. strong, right vs. wrong, light vs.
dark)
Discourse and poetry are the same thing, they both try to inspire you
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Document Summary

The main points of heart of darkness and similarity to dorian gray: The information we receive is not true or right, it"s just information (similar to how kurtz receives information from people like the manager, but the information is not right, it"s just from their perspective) Adapting to something is not the same as learning (the savages as so called by kurtz, are not learning to adapt per se, they"re just trying to survive by adapting) Heart of darkness ties in with dorian gray: dorian gray doesn"t have any choice in the roads he took because of lord henry and lack of choice is basically lacking free will. Similar to how the congo natives don"t have any free will, they just serve for capitalism. *with wisdom being at the top, because information and knowledge is nothing without wisdom, because wisdom comes from experience. Marlow (heart of darkness) is just an uninformed spectator.

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