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Essay on The Dark and Light Imagery in "Heart of Darkness"

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In my paper, titled, The Dark and Light, the dark and light imagery in the novella Heart of Darkness, will be described as a demonstration of how much the this imagery is portrayed, and how this it was so significant in the novella. Throughout Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses a plethora of simple colors, objects, and surroundings to convey multilayered images and ideas. These numerous symbols and events in the story have a more in-depth meaning, and are extremely important throughout the story.

Throughout the entire novella, Joseph Conrad uses simple events to describe significant dark and light imagery. As the story begins, a man named Marlow describes his journey into the depths of the African Congo. He is in search of a man name Kurtz who is an ivory trader. His experiences throughout his journey are physically difficult to overcome. However, even more complex, was the journey that his heart and mind experienced throughout the long ride into the Congo. Marlow’s surroundings such as the setting, characters, and symbols each contain light and dark images that shape the central theme of the novel.

As Marlow begins to tell his tale to other interested seamen, Conrad describes how the sun is setting in the background, leaving only dark clouds to remain. Already in the beginning of the story does the author show how his tale may bring dark thoughts and imagery to him and his seamen. Marlow describes at this point how once the sun has set certain lights began to appear: “Lights of ships moved in the fairway- a great stir of lights going up and going down” (Conrad 5). Although darkness sets in in the beginning of Marlow’s story, some type of light also appears.

Already in the first few pages of Conrad’s work, dark and light i...


... middle of paper ...


...ork, Heart of Darkness, is more than just a narrator describing his ventures through the Congo River, it is also a large view on imperialism, and how far one king went to gain power and riches. Through it all this narrator (Marlow), gains a new understanding of the suffering that occurred back during this dark era of time. He comprehends and enlightens the reader to be more conscious of what occurred in the depths of the “heart of darkness”. Conrad did an remarkable job of putting one character in place of himself (the protagonist Marlow) to tell a grasping tale of what he experienced, which could be perceived as “light”, to the readers, and making them apprehend what his journey into the Congo river actually consisted of, which was only more “darkness” exemplified. Almost every imagery throughout the novella demonstrated an innovative way of comparing dark and light.


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