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Heart of Darkness Character Studies by Dr. Ashley Chantler

Heart of Darkness Character Studies

Part of the Character Studies Series


Heart of Darkness Character Studies by Dr. Ashley Chantler

This book introduces Heart of Darkness through its key characters - an ideal framework for students looking to develop an advanced understanding of the text.Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) is one of the most important literary works of the early twentieth century. It has provoked much critical debate, on issues such as fin de siecle doubt and pessimism, European colonialism, racism, and misogyny. Engaging with the novel's characters is crucial to understanding its complexity and its critical history.This study includes: an overview of the novel, including an account of its late nineteenth-century context; discussions of the narrative structure and the narrators; chapters analysing in detail the key characters in relation to the text's themes, issues and historical context; engagement with a range of literary criticism and theory; a conclusion reminding students of the potential of detailed character analysis and close critical reading; and, a guide to secondary texts and a comprehensive bibliography. This is an ideal introduction for students wanting to develop an advanced understanding of Joseph Conrad's challenging novel. Character Studies aims to promote sophisticated literary analysis through the concept of character. It demonstrates the necessity of linking character analysis to texts' themes, issues and ideas, and encourages students to embrace the complexity of literary characters and the texts in which they appear. The series thus fosters close critical reading and evidence-based discussion, as well as an engagement with historical context, and with literary criticism and theory.Designed for first year students, the series builds on the usual knowledge base of students beginning literary study in HE by focusing on the familiar characters but introducing more sophisticated analysis.


Ashley Chantler's introductory study is clear, concise, informative and open-minded. It will help students to explore and enjoy Conrad's complex but rewarding tale. - Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex, UK . ..a lot to offer to teachers...useful aid... The Use of English, Summer 2009 . ..A decent appraisal of a truly great novel through substantial consideration of its modern critical analysis and minor character study. This suggests a really useful series from Continuum. - The University of Edinburgh Journal . ..a lot to offer to teachers...useful aid... The Use of English, Summer 2009 An overview of the novel Heart of Darkness joins others in Continuum's 'Character Studies
series and offers discussions of the narrative structure and narrators key to the text

's reading. High school to college-level students of Conrad will find this a powerful exploration of the themes and ideas of this classic text, and a 'must'
for comprehensive study.

-The Literary Shelf (Bookwatch)

About the Author

Ashley Chantler is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Chester, UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th March 2008


Dr. Ashley Chantler

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


160 pages


Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -



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