Wow And Heart Of Darkness 2 Essay

Submitted By jessicachardxo
Words: 1636
Pages: 7

Jessica Chard

‘The journeys around which these two stories are structured are as much psychological as geographical.’ Focusing closely on the language of three or more relevant passages of your choice, discuss how convincing you find this view of WoW and HoD. Both Wells and Conrad use War of the Worlds and Heart of Darkness to explore different psychological views of the narratives which link with the geographical locations and the settings of the two novellas. War of the Worlds is narrated by the nameless educated middle-age man. The narrator of War of the Worlds, it could be argued, accords greater significance to places than he does to characters. His own namelessness perhaps being a sign of this. Heart of Darkness, on the other hand, has a framed narrator Marlow, who is retelling a time of part of his life, whilst being sedentary on an estuary in the River Thames, and within the story presses no significant importance of naming his location but by referring to it as ‘darkness’. War of the worlds is a science fiction novel, which was one of the first to introduce the idea of an alien species forcing pressure upon the British Empire whereas Heart of Darkness is based on realities of the Belgium Congo and deliberately leaves place names out. War of the Worlds questions the colonialism of that period. The story Wells was about to spin for The War of the Worlds was however a completely new concept in literature, though he was not quite the first to postulate a visit to Earth from the Martians. This honor belongs to the German author Lasswitz Kurd, but while the Martian visitors in his 1897 novel Auf Zwei Planeten (Two Planets) were essentially benign, Wells chose instead to create a race of warlike beings with no interest at all in dialogue. The Martians as envisaged by Wells are quintessential bug eyed monsters, but though they are inhuman in appearance they are all too human in character. In this essay, I want to see if both are more physiological journeys rather than geographical, however I think Heart of Darkness is more from a shifted parallel as it is an obscure reflection of Conrad’s own journey through the Belgium Congo. War of the Worlds begins in Woking in Surrey and the neighborhood feel of it, the arrogance and ignorance that is associated with living there. He links this with the imperialistic view that the British have as being ‘top dogs’ in terms of empire and how this has led to the hubristic attitude, which stereotypically, Europeans had during that time. Wells is writing whilst looking back retrospectively to retell the story from a position of knowledge to a position of ignorance. This is shown in the introduction of chapter one, 'the eve of the war' where the narrator introduces the scene to the reader. “No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger.” Wells brings the Martians to Woking junction, and places them, with all their abhorrent dexterity, “A monstrous tripod” in the most homely and familiar surroundings. Wells uses the vividness of the local surroundings, “the crest of the hill, the green tops of the pine trees,” and the accuracy of the geographical settings to enhance the horror of the imagery he aimed to get across to the reader. Wells describes the settings as being ‘alien’ and is to explore the idea that as the environment becomes different to normal civilization, human beings become strangers in what was, until very recently, their home and their natural social habitat. He uses geographical locations more to address the significance of the breakdown of society and the collapse of civilization and order of the Empire. The narrator finds himself travelling through an England undergoing a hideous transformation as a virulent Martian Red Weed begins to choke and overwhelm our native vegetation. After his encounter with the Curate who is driven mad by the affront to his religion, “praying,…