Essay on Darkness and Evil Illustrated in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Essay on Darkness and Evil Illustrated in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

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Evil: Morally bad or wrong; wicked. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious. The definition of evil, a term used very cautiously in modern society, is very diverse among different people. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the term evil is articulated through several ways mainly four characters: the cruelty within the people of the Belgian Congo, main mystery of Kurtz, the setting upon which the characters reside, and the atmosphere in which the Belgian Congo produces from the elements prior stated. The smarter Europeans used their intelligence and arms strength to cruelly overcome the weaker natives. The concept of evil is personified in the story through different things mainly through a man named Kurtz. Even though the land of the Belgian Congo can be thought of being evil by the Europeans, the land is more of a medium used to bring out the worst in people. Aside from the land the inhabitants can be thought of being a means for corruption. Also Conrad focuses on darkness as being a factor of the evil. Conrad incorporates darkness to his story as a whole whether through: characters, settings, or motifs.
Evil, although not directly mentioned, is the after effect of the Europeans conquest of the Congo. As much as one may want to believe this story is all fictional, it’s not the Belgian Congo really was a part of history. The supposed purpose of the Europeans traveling into Africa was to civilize the natives. Instead they colonized on the native's land and corrupted the natives. The Europeans implement their own beliefs upon the weaker natives, like the way that Cortez and the Spa...


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...s spiritually reborn. The story itself uses Kurtz as the dark right side in which Marlow searches for entering into the darkness of his own persona. The journey that Marlow goes through within himself is one that is very complex.
This whole story consists of a large paradox, the darkness can be represented as Kurtz yet Kurtz can be perceived as a dark inner side of Marlow’s character, while the Congo can represent pure evil, and the Congo could also represent the test in which Marlow goes through to emerge as the changed man the reader sees at the end of the story. Yet as Marlow rides on the boat back with Kurtz he realizes that everybody has that lil’ bit of evil inside of them it all depends how you control it or let it control you. For Marlow he learned from seeing a man who was so much like him, Kurtz end up ruined by the temptation of the jungle.




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