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Nihilism in Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness (1899), Conrad explores existential nihilism, which defines a belief that the world is without meaning or purpose. Through Marlow, Conrad introduces a story for civilization, for those on board the Nellie that are unaware for their own meaninglessness. The voyage through the African Congo depicts the absurdity of man's existence and human ideals disintegrate in the immensity of the Jungle atmosphere. The ominous Jungle is the setting which Conrad uses to develop the reader's consciousness of man's falseness in contrast to an obscure world. Any sense of restraint against the darkness that habituates in the natural world of man's uncivilized makeup is futile.
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