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ENGA10H3 Lecture Notes - Plausible Deniability, Psychological Horror

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Deirdre Flynn

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Lecture 5
Song : grace that lets face our trauma and have compassion for ourselves and acknowledge what we have
gone through and move on
Our psyche hide our pain…
Jospeh Conrad’s letters are full of pain…physical pain “feeling in the brain”
courageous about Marlow is that he keeps on focusing it just like Conrad “my task”
what is the truth?
1) The historical horror in congo that occurred then and is occurring now
2) Psychological horror , we see Marlow’s psychological horror
3) Horror of seeing through haegemonic discourse and seeing through the binaries and MOM..thsoe that
allow us to wander through in blessed ignorance
Kurt’s intended
- Things she is easier to read but in the drawing room
- “But while we were shaking hand..” soemthign has taken him somewhere he hadn’t expected to go
and he sees here the intended imperial embodiment of Kurtz himself and her survival depends on the
Fantasy of Kurtz..the fantasy he embodies and went to the congo to realize that he was a magnificent
and civilizing agent…remember Kurtz embodies haegemonic discourse but he is hollow at the core
that’s all he embodies
- Marlow seen his hollowness, that if he exposes the intended to this mystery,he will destroy her just like
the mystery destroyed Kurtz
- M doesn’t know what to do and say..the piano is present , sign that embodiment of Europe is present
- Why doesn’t he tell her the last word were horror? Why her name?- Conrad
- Intended is a mirror image of Kurtz. Like with Kurtz, all of the Europe has gone in the making of her.
Like Kurtz, this si the truth and she is hollow at the core without this truth. She has given substance as
embodiment of European ideal..the cold harsh reality will destroy her as it did Kurtz. He is trying to let
her maintain her ideology, her imaginary relationship with her existence..he is avoiding shattering her
necessary fiction, he can see how necessary the fiction is for her. He need to keep the congo separate
and these are terms need to maintain their distinction in binary inorder to shore up all the myths upon
which hegemonic discourse is found on
- we don’t see the details of this brutality but the effects that these brutality have on Marlow
- Conrad brings the jungle into the parlour unlike Marlow..that there is no distinction between what’s in
Congo and Europe..marlow cant tolearet this , Conrad can..but it destroys him as evident in letters
To depict Vietnam war, the author uses Joseph Conrad’s model
The horror out there stays out there is not seen..if binaries are enforced such that the terms are kept separate,
then fiction can run and war can continue otherwise it falls apart
The brutality in Congo not exposed till 8yr after HD was published
the Congolese had their hands cut off so that they are not wasting bullets by hunting and finding hteir own the bullet used were account edfor with their right hand
so outcry against brutality after photos of these chidlren with mutilated hands are shown
Whats at stake here is social, political, economical illusions knotted together in the system production of
hegemonic discourse. Hegemonic discourse is so powerful and so hard to see beyond..and it enables the worst
to commit such atrocities and enables the best to wander in a state without conviction, perplexed, confused.
King Leopold had colonized huge vast of land in the Congo..i.e as much as Quebec. He did this by the way we
see doen in HD, he used ideological tools or ideals back at home to allow Europe to deny the horror and used
MOMs to engage folks in their pursuit of civilization, progress and efficiency ..and used brutality to enslave
Congolese so he can as much and cheapest as possible.
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