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Essay on Menacing Forces in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

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In today‘s civilization, we find many menacing emotions that keep us humans from doing good deeds. We have different states of mind, and consciousness. There are levels that allow us to openly express what we are thinking. But there are also levels we know exist, but we refuse to allow others to know. Also, there are even states of mind we can’t even comprehend on our own. In Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, the 3 states of the conscious mind are connected, displayed and ignored as the Europeans conform to what everyone else is doing and disregard their own true thoughts. The consciousness of the mind is easily overpowered by menacing forces, such as conformity, savagery and ignorance. These menacing forces encircle all forms of civilization, and have an effect on the human brain whether it’s realized or not.
The conscious mind is expressed to other people. It is what we communicate about our thoughts. In the novel, the conscious mind is degrading those who are believed to be beneath the Europeans. On this journey, Marlow joins with the rest of his people to mistreat the Negros. However, even though he is conforming to society to say these people are evil, he expresses how he truly feels about them subconsciously. “They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now-nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom.” (Conrad, page 20). It could be said that in the heart of darkness, the menacing force of conformity completely takes over the human conscious mind. Subconsciously, Marlow is re-thinking everything the Europeans are doing, wondering in awe if it truly is the right thing to do. However, because Marlow has learned that it is moral ...


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... the Europeans, pushing them to act as the savages, instead of the natives.
The mind is a wonderful thing. It allows us to think on three very different levels. One we choose to express, one we don’t choose to express, and one we do not even know exists. All these stages of thinking are clouded over in Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. Three menacing forces occur that completely take over the white man to act inappropriately. They accuse others of acting savage, when they violently act against people of other cultures. They conform to specific beliefs, and push aside their subconscious thoughts. These men also have an abundance of ignorance that makes them feel false superiority. The Heart of Darkness reaches into the minds of readers, to prove that all of civilization is surrounded by an abundance of forces that can fog our mind, and darken our hearts.


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