Apart from the discernable darkness depicted in England and Belgium, and the Congo, each places’ surface traits are not comparable. The civilized European cities are portrayed as refined, but also as a “whited supulchre,” with “prejudice no doubt” and a desire to “make no end of coin by trade” (Conrad 14). The term “whited supulchre” is a biblical allusion, referring to a person who is superficially pure, but categorically deceptive. In its literal sense, a supulchre is a coffin, and in being whited, it is beautiful on the outside but contains horrors on the inside. This bleak and inhumane place characterizes itself to be civilized, and there in lies the people who willingly welcome the burden of edifying the unfortunates in Africa. Alternatively, the primitive life along the African Congo strikes a glaring disparity to pristine European society. Not only are the riverbanks “rotting with mud” and “thickened with slime,” but also, a “general sense of vague and oppressive wonder” sets a sinister tone to the land and people of the Congo (Conrad 11). The notable absence of description of its inhabitants furthers Africa’s and Africans’ depiction as indistinguishable and incoherent to the European perception. Actual people living in this environ...
... middle of paper ...
...man travels. The advantage seeking habits of The Company wreak havoc and madness in a previously struggling but content world. However, when juxtapositions in cultures and ideals occurs along with greed and contempt, a true sense of darkness emerges not from the actual place, but from within the heart of those who see no humanity inside a human.
If a civilization is coherent, is it automatically civilized? Conrad does not believe so. Civilization has transformed into a false sense of superiority, not coherency and progressiveness. It is respect and a fellowship toward betterment. It is not a ruling over or cruelty to those who are different. There is no definition of who is actually the disparate one and who is the enlightened one, anyway. Heart of Darkness condemns these ideas exposes the troubling issues of prejudice and deceitful practices of powerful figures.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In literature, contrasting places are used by certain authors as a way of representing opposed forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work. We see this used in the novella “Heart Of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad as he applies the jungles of Africa and Europe to develop the concept of civilization and the heart of darkness respectively. However many critics such as Chinua Achebe and Karin Hannson believe that Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a racist work displaying the mistreatment of African natives being below Marlow and Kurtz.In "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad 's Heart of Darkness," Chinua Achebe criticizes Joseph Conrad for his racist stereotypes towards the con... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad]
1241 words (3.5 pages)
- Joseph Conrad’s s book Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical land of Africa as “so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness”, (Conrad 154) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were spread all over the world. This event and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Human]
1441 words (4.1 pages)
- Take a moment to think about the social corruption that has taken place all around the world. In the novella, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Kurtz is a legend and acquires the most ivory around. People believe that he is good at his job until Marlow travels to the Inner Station. Marlow finds that Kurtz has enslaved the Natives to bring him ivory, if they fail to do so, they get punished. He is viewed like a God by the Natives, Kurtz believes that they need help and guidance to civilization.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Corruption]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- The novel, The Heart of Darkness, is written by Joseph Conrad. Throughout the story he puts many literary devices to use. The most apparent method he used was the symbolism of light and darkness. Marlow, the narrator, throughout the story makes the Europeans which are white, equivalent to the light in the world, while he makes the Africans, whom are black, equivalent to the darkness in the world. As Marlow proceeds further into the Inner Station, the darkness and lightness symbols mix with meanings that make them contradictory to what they normally mean.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Colonialism]
1338 words (3.8 pages)
- Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a story of change, and not all of the modifications that the characters make are positive. Most of the decisions that are forced upon the main characters are harsh and overwhelming, and the pressure of these choices seems to always make a character revert to their most barbaric state. “Albert Guerard (Language, Psychoanalysis) asserts that Heart of Darkness isn’t really about Africa, it’s a metaphor for a psychological exploration to the heart of human nature and the animal selves that lurk beneath our civilized veneers.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Savage]
1222 words (3.5 pages)
- Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is the story of a man’s journey deep into the Congo. The title, however, is unclear as to what or which “heart of darkness” he is moving towards. The man, Marlow, enters the center of the continent of Africa, often seen as a place of darkness in the light of European civilization. But soon he experiences the the fullest extent of human depravity and cruelty enacted on an innocent civilization for the accumulation of wealth. However, the heart of darkness that Marlow finds himself in may be less a metaphorical one and more of a metaphysical one.... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Charles Marlow]
1116 words (3.2 pages)
- In Joseph Conrad’s unforgettable novel, Heart of Darkness, the profound words of Mr. Kurtz are a judgement of his malevolent life and of humanity in general. “The horror. The horror!” are the uttered words of Kurtz as he returned with Marlow from his civilization in Africa. Conrad left the words open for interpretation, leaving many readers feeling indifferent. As Kurtz encountered death, he reflected on his past and was fond of leaving the diabolical world that he inhabited. He was pleased to be dying due to his own evil, greedy actions as well as the inequality within humanity.... [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Apocalypse Now]
859 words (2.5 pages)
- Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" written in 1902 is an overwhelming chronicle of Marlow's journey into the heart of the African continent. It is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century. In this ghastly and horrific tale, Marlow leads an expedition up the Congo River, only to find everything is not as it seems. This haunting and mysterious story takes him into the unbearable core of the jungle. The novel also explores trade and exploration, imperialism and colonization.... [tags: Heart Darkness Joseph Conrad Essays]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- Use of Light and Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness contrasts light and darkness, to represent the civilized and uncivilized sides of the world. Conrad uses light to represent the civilized side of humanity while contrasting the dark with the uncivilized and savage. Throughout the thematic stages of the novel, that is the Thames river London, the company's office in Belgium, the journey to the "heart of darkness" and the conclusion, light and dark is used to represent these sides of humanity, but on a deeper level many assumptions of darkness and light are challenged, with the appearance of light and dark, and in turn good and evil contras... [tags: Heart Darkness essays Joseph Conrad ]
1493 words (4.3 pages)
- Light and Dark Imagery in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a novel about a man named Marlow and his journey into the depths of the African Congo. Marlow is in search of a man named Kurtz, an ivory trader. Though Marlow?s physical journey seems rather simple, it takes him further into his own heart and soul than into the Congo. The setting, symbols and characters each contain light and dark images, these images shape the central theme of the novel.... [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad]
588 words (1.7 pages)