Comparative Survey, Descriptive Research

  Comparative survey research is a type of descriptive survey where it aims to compare the status of two or more variable, institutions, strategies etc. This technique often uses multiple disciplines in one study.This does not only compare different groups but also same group over time.Few points are to be kept in mind before starting the comparative survey. ·        Comparison Points -The research should be very clear regarding the points to be compared. This can also be identified through review of literature and experience of experts. ·        Assumption of Similarities -  One has to be clear about the similarities the two variable hold. If the researcher do not find this there is no point of comparison. Criteria of Comparison - The researcher has to identify the criteria of comparison keeping in mind the fairness and objectivity. Appropriate tools has to be identified for measurement of criterion variables. Comparative survey research is carried on when the researcher cannot

Justify the Title ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad

Kurtz       Marlow

Justify (or significance of) the title ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad.

‘Heart of Darkness’ is essentially a story of darkness at different levels. Give your opinion.
Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness is quite significant and meaningful so far as its title is concerned. It is certainly the story of darkness at different levels- physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, subconscious etc. It is the story of dark personality like Mr.Kurtz and diabolical possessions.

The title basically refers to the dark African continent. Literally it means the inmost region of the territory which was in those days still in the process of being explored and the inhabitants still led a primitive life. By Conrad’s time many parts of Africa had been explored and depicted on the map; even then Africa was still known as the Dark Continent.

While portraying the dark continent of Africa, particularly the Congo, Conrad gives a picture that is suggestive of physical darkness.
            The edge of the colossal jungle, so dark green as to be almost black, fringed with white sulf ran straight like a ruled line, far, far away, along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by creeping mist.

Everything in the novel is overshadowed by darkness-the sky is overcast by dark clouds, the Congo River is invisible in the dark fog, all kinds of evil forces are hidden behind the dark bushes and thick foliage. Even the hearts of men are under the influence of darkness of evil. The atmosphere of the Central Station is that of decay and death. When Marlow reaches this station, he finds an undersized railway-truck lying on its back with its wheels in the air-
            The thing looked as dead as the carcass of some animal.

The title of the story also suggests inner darkness. Physical darkness of Congo is only suggestive of the physical aspect of the novel, which is incomplete without the thorough investigation of the deeper meaning. Marlow’s exploration of the Congo can be studied as his exploration of the inner recesses of his own mind. According to critics, this novel may also be considered as a journey into the heart of Mr.Kurtz.
            So sensitive, so civilized-who at the savage centre of the jungle, sees into the darkness of himself, and dies.

Heart of Darkness is certainly a study of Marlow’s or Conrad’s own inner mind. Marlow’s account gives us a glimpse of his own mind.
            The mind of man is capable of anything because everything is in it, all the past as well as the future.

In order to endure the dark realities of human life, a man should possess an inner strength. What he needs is a deliberate belief. At yet another point in the novel, Marlow tells us of the effect of his own mind of the savage sight of human skulls hanging from the tops of the posts fixed on the ground outside Mr. Kurtz’s residence. Towards the end of the novel, Marlow tells us the working of his mind when several persons come to him ne after the other claiming the packet of papers and the photograph which Mr. Kurtz has given him for safe custody, and he also reveals to us the working of his mind when he meets Mr. Kurtz’s Intended.
            She took both my hands in hers… for belief for suffering.

All these instances enable us to have a direct glimpse of what Marlow thinks about and reacts to various situations.
Apart from the above mentioned, there are various other things that are suggestive of the darkness of evil in the story. For e.g. the natives of Congo are representative of primitivism. Kurtz came to Africa with the mission to civilize these natives and to dispel the darkness of their uncivilized life. Rather, this turned futile and led to destruction. We can call, as the darkness in the form of unspeakable rites. The natives took for granted Mr. Kurtz as their man-god. They performed the rites of sacrificing young men for the sake of keeping him healthy and strong and does not led Mr. Kurtz to leave. The skulls on the post were of those sacrificed. Further, the meeting of Marlow with the manager and later on with Kurtz makes us more aware of the prevailing darkness in this aspect. Walten Allen rightly observes,
The Heart of Darkness, title is at once the heart of Africa, the heart of evil- everything that is nihilistic, corrupt and malign- and perhaps the heart of men.

Therefore, the title of the novel is quite appropriate. The darkness, the blackness both in literal and metamorphic sense overshadows the plot.


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