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A Rude Awakening to Sounds: A Study of the Soundscape in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines the significance of sounds and silence in Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness (1902). The importance of visual effects has repeatedly been analyzed and therefore, it is high time to explore the text from an auditory perspective. By comparing and contrasting Victorian city sounds to sounds in the wilderness, I show that the urban and rural worlds have a great deal in common. Furthermore, by deconstructing the seemingly stable binary opposition of sound and silence as well as that of civilization and wilderness, it becomes evident that they are related and depend on one another. This paper also examines noise and how it is used as a means of power. Moreover, it deals with Thomas Edison’s invention, the phonograph, as an implicit discursive device in the text. In conclusion, it is argued that the sonic environment is of high significance and should therefore not be ignored and readers must try to close their eyes in order to hear what is said.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, soundscape, sonic environment, auditory setting, sounds, silence, noise
National Category
Humanities Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-23633OAI: diva2:650433
Subject / course
Available from: 2013-10-01 Created: 2013-09-21 Last updated: 2013-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Klavebäck, Kerstin
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