Essay on The Congo River And Charlie Marlow

Essay on The Congo River And Charlie Marlow

Length: 1354 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Darkness, in whatever form, exists in the hearts of all mankind no matter what race, religion, or background. When one is separated from their source, home, and culture, the darkness of their heart can often lead to displays of greed, madness, distortion, and evil. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the author uses the Congo River as a symbol to show the importance of Interiors and Exteriors in Marlow’s journey and ultimately how he is able to resist the darkness within himself.
It is apparent that the Congo River functions as the connection between Marlow and the one place that he truly feels at home – the Ocean. The Congo River and Charlie Marlow interestingly both share the same source, but in different ways. Marlow is portrayed as, “a seaman…he was a wanderer…Their minds are of the stay-at-home order, and their home is always with them-the ship; and so is their country- the sea,” (6) and it is evident that Conrad seeks to depict Marlow as a character that never truly leaves his “home”, “the ship” which is represented through the steamer, as well as his “country-the sea,” (6). This causes Marlow to never truly connect or become a part of a single culture such as the Europeans or the natives. He does not seem to belong to the thoughtless, careless, and destructive European imperialist culture and he clearly does not belong to the native savage culture due to the fact that whilst he remains on the river he is still connected to his home and country- the sea. He is constantly juxtaposed and contrasted from the rest of Conrad’s characters and this reinforces him as the hero and protagonist of the dark novel. Conrad subtlety ascribes god-like qualities to Marlow on occasion such as when he is depicted as seated, "cross-legged" l...


... middle of paper ...


...e is a man of the sea and he always travels by river he never truly leaves his source. This is one of Marlow’s greatest strength’s due to the fact that it allows him to resist the darkness creeping up from inside his heart once he reaches Kurtz who has been separated from his own “home country” and culture and thus given into the madness residing inside his interior. Conrad shows how the grueling trip upstream reflects Marlow’s own inner struggles to understand the ideas and people of his surroundings, particularly Kurtz. He continues to convey how the rapid ease of the trip back downstream mirrors Marlow’s acceptance and understanding of Kurtz as well as the river’s repelling of Europeans and the evils of imperialism. Conrad demonstrates that the only way to defeat the darkness within the heart of mankind is by never losing connection with one’s source or home.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Charlie Marlow as a Narrator in Heart of Darkness Essay

- Some of the things you have discovered about Charlie Marlow as a Narrator in Heart of Darkness. In Heart of Darkness, the main story teller is Charlie Marlow. Based on a boat waiting for the turn of the tide on the river Thames, he tells his crew of his journey into the African Congo. In the opening pages Marlow is described as looking like some kind of idol; "he had the pose of a Buddha preaching" this relates to his somewhat philosophical way of recounting his tale, as a narrator Marlow often deflects from the story, he is vague and thinks very deeply about Imperialism- one of the main themes in heart of darkness....   [tags: English Literature]

Better Essays
611 words (1.7 pages)

A Journey from the Congo River to Europe in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

- Heart of Darkness is a 146 page, adventure tale novella written by Joseph Conrad. This book can be found in our school library and many other libraries in the area. The novella is about a British sailor named Marlow, who recounts his journey from the Congo River to Europe. On his journey, Marlow meets a man named Kurtz and attempts to bring him back to Europe. Many complications such as attacks from the natives, sickness, and a boat repair set hardships on Marlow’s journey, developing the main character, the theme, and mood of the novella....   [tags: novella, africa, mood]

Better Essays
543 words (1.6 pages)

Marlow’s Metamorphosis in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Marlow’s Metamorphosis in Heart of Darkness Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, relies on the historical period of imperialism to illuminate its protagonist, Charlie Marlow, and his struggle with two opposite value systems. Marlow undergoes a catharsis during his trip to the Congo and learns of the effects of imperialism. I will analyze Marlow's change, which is caused by his exposure to the imperialistic nature of the historical period in which he lived. Marlow goes to the Congo River to report on Mr....   [tags: Heart of Darkness]

Better Essays
3512 words (10 pages)

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on African Trade And Its Effects On Developing Naive Nations

- Racism or colonialism Colonialism has been one of the biggest problems to affect developing naïve nations in various historical periods, armed men would scatter through the land in search for resources leaving behind a trail of death and disease. One of the biggest known victims of this disease was Africa, because of its vast resources, fruits, vegetables and animals to name a few; these resources made the country a prime target for colonial domination. A resource that was extremely valuable in the African trade was ivory, because of its properties allowing the materials to last ten times longer than most common metals; in addition, it was also valued culturally as the prime material for s...   [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Charles Marlow]

Better Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Marlow Journey in the Congo in Heart of Darkness by Conrad Essay

- ... In order to better understand Marlow’s mental journey and how the challenges in the jungle changed him, it is necessary to inspect the mind through the method of psychoanalysis. There are three different types of psychoanalysis the id, ego, and superego. The id is the set of uncoordinated trends. The ego is realistic and organized, it moderates the id and the super ego. The superego the part of a persons’ personality that represents the conscience. Marlow begins his journey into Africa as a “superego”....   [tags: society, ego, id]

Better Essays
715 words (2 pages)

Imperialist Decay: The Sane and the Insane Essay

- “People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.” (George R. R. Martin). Life is not just a single journey, as commonly known. Life is made of multifarious little journeys, both physical and emotional, defining who we are, were and will be. Meaning might lack, but we never give up on our supposed goal, because we are persistent humanoids. Charlie Marlow’s journey in Heart of Darkness had been summarized in the last couple of sentences, surprisingly. Marlow encumbered himself with a journey of self-discovery and truth seeking; the truth about the superficially ornamented culture he belonged to....   [tags: Charlie Marlow's Heart of Darkness]

Better Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

The Congo River's Influences on the Surrounding Countries Essay

- Stretching 2,914 miles long, the Congo River is the eighth longest river in the world and the second longest river in Africa after the Nile. The Congo River flows primarily between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Republic of the Congo (ROC). The Congo River forms in the most southern part of the DRC at the meeting point of the Lualaba and Luvua Rivers. The Congo’s many tributaries drain approximately 1,600,000 square miles into Central Africa, making the Congo River the region’s primary source of transportation....   [tags: transport, drinking, hydropower]

Better Essays
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Significance of the Congo River in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Significance of the Congo River in Heart of Darkness The Significance of the Congo River For Marlow, the journey on the Congo River is one of the most difficult and ominous journeys he will ever take. The fact that it takes him around and not completely into the jungle is significant of Marlow's psychological journey as well. He never really goes on land but watches the shore from the outside. The only time he goes on shore he finds a wasteland. For Marlow the jungle of the Congo is representative of evil that man is capable of....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Free Essays
655 words (1.9 pages)

Congo Essay

- Desperate Battle Defines Congo's Warlike Peace At the southern extreme of a ragged front line that winds 1,400 miles across Congo lies a ferry, dirty pink and half-submerged in the muddy Luvua River. Facing it on a gravel ramp stand the burned-out husks of 33 military vehicles -- armored personnel carriers, trucks, an ambulance -- waiting in a line that never moved forward. Unopened syringes lie underfoot, amid charred tires and a trampled note that a fleeing Congolese junior officer left behind: "Attaque," reads the neat cursive French....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1974 words (5.6 pages)