Conradâ€™s famous novella is based on a real journey the author took up the Congo in 1890, during King Leopold II of Belgiumâ€™s horrific rule. It is a fantastic, imaginative journey to find a man named Kurtz who has lost his mind in the African jungle. It is a journey into inner space; a metaphorical investigation into the turbid waters of the human soul. It is a political journey into the dark heart of European colonialism. It is a nightmare journey, into horror. It is a journey to nowhere, set on a boat lying motionless and at anchor on the river Thames, which also â€œhas been one of the dark places on the earthâ€.
This handout is about determining when to use first person pronouns (â€œIâ€, â€œwe,â€ â€œme,â€ â€œus,â€ â€œmy,â€ and â€œourâ€) and personal experience in academic writing. â€œFirst personâ€ and â€œpersonal experienceâ€ might sound like two ways of saying the same thing, but first person and personal experience can work in very different ways in your writing. You might choose to use â€œIâ€ but not make any reference to your individual experiences in a particular paper. Or you might include a brief description of an experience that could help illustrate a point youâ€™re making without ever using the word â€œI.â€ So whether or not you should use first person and personal experience are really two separate questions, both of which this handout addresses. It also offers some alternatives if you decide that either â€œIâ€ or personal experience isnâ€™t appropriate for your project. If youâ€™ve decided that you do want to use one of them, this handout offers some ideas about how to do so effectively, because in many cases using one or the other might strengthen your writing.