Heart Of Darkness Analysis

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Sent to the deep and vast jungle of the Congo, the reader joins Marlow, a seaman with a passion for adventure and travel, on a journey that defies society’s simplistic view of the principles of human nature and truth. In Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, two societies collide together, as the imperialistic west begins to conquer the barbarous Congo. However, the two prove to create a paradox in ones empowering and overbearing characteristics, fuels the others reality. The novel’s nebulous and existential ideals can be depicted with the Chinese philosophic concept of yin-yang. It highlights the idea that antithetical forces are interdependent in the natural world. Conrad’s juxtaposition of light and dark highlight the two forces of each society connecting into one worldly truth. The dark jungle exemplifies man’s true self in which evil-doing is rooted deep within civilization’s core. However, the white imagery highlights man’s phenomena in which they have the ability to defy their natural tendencies in order to build a more virtuous character. The two colors and societies act as a physical manifestation of the yin and yang idea. The constant reoccurrence of each, acts as a social commentary of Conrad’s belief that individual truths do not exist, for each belief interrelates to one another and creates the idea in which the whole truth is greater than the individual truths.
Throughout the novel, there is a concept battle between good versus evil that is shown through dark and light imagery. At the start of Heart of Darkness, the city is described as being gloomy despite the sun shining brightly. Conrad writes, “A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and fart...

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...er can be created. This meaning that man does have the potential to be good. Although, without that “flicker”, who is to say that the natural state is “evil” if there is nothing to compare it to? Similarly, who is to say the the “flicker” is good, if one cannot compare it to the good. As a result, neither side is wrong, for both make the other true.
Heart of Darkness delves deeper into man’s true self. The constant battle between light and dark in the novel, exemplifies the two clashing truths in which humans live with. Once deprived of social standards, humans are stripped to their evil natural state. However, it is also true that they have the ability to suppress such thoughts, and become good. Though seen as conflicting, the dark and light references act as complementary forces that create a dynamic structure that adheres to both truths that exist in this world.

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