Discussion Guide for Heart of Darkness

This Discussion Guide for Heart of Darkness activity & project also includes:

Reading and discussing Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is not for the faint of heart. The dark, ambiguous, and complex novel is one of the most frequently cited books on the AP Literature exam. The questions in this guide ask readers to think critically about the text and to support their responses with specific references to the novel.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • The Great Books Foundation offer professional development courses in their shared inquiry approach to literature discussions; organize a district-wide seminary for teachers
  • If class members are not familiar with the shared inquiry approach to literature discussions, model how to craft open-discussion questions and follow-up questions
  • Assign class members a portion of the text, have them develop shared inquiry style questions, and then lead a discussion of that test
Classroom Considerations
  • Most effective if class members have read Heart of Darkness
  • Prior knowledge of the shared inquiry process is required
  • In addition to interpretative questions, the guide includes questions that ask readers to make personal and global connections to the text, as well as background information on Conrad and his novel
  • None