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Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness

Good Essays
Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness Written by Joseph Conrad in the early 20th century, "The Heart of

Darkness" is a short and yet fantastic novel, which reveals the

darkest sides of human nature. The story takes place in the mystical

and savage jungle of Congo, where the European civilization and its

devastating imperialism mixes with primitive cultures of our history,

creating a disturbing environment like no other. The simple and

ignorant minds are filled with fear while all their superior relatives

know is conquest, ivory, greed, money and authority.

Marlow's journey takes him up the Congo River, which is surrounded by

a thick and endless jungle filled with mystery and savage surprises.

Africa is currently at the peak of its European conquest as it remains

quite uncivilized and yet ruled by the white men. This tension can be

felt in the air, as Marlow describes the jungle atmosphere as in

"thick, moist, hot, unbearable and heavy." The dense growth in the

jungle makes it extremely dark and the river is brown from the dirt

that is swirled around. The strange and primitive appearances, actions

and screams of the natives in the grip of the "civilized" and

developed white men makes the setting that more disturbing.

Mixing two opposite mentalities is similar to mixing of two colors

like white and black. The white color shines in its brightness and

purity until just a few drops of black can poison and darken its

surface. The dominant black quickl...

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... being "high", Kurtz frequently

got lost in the jungle for weeks, where he wondered around finding

ivory and terrorizing anybody and anything in his way, satisfying his

hunger and desires from his dark and infected mind. Just before he

dies, Kurtz screams, "horror, horror!" He realizes the evil that has

overtaken him, and how it slowly destroyed and killed his mind.

After Kurtz's death Marlow returns back to Europe, however, he would

never again look at people as he did before. He feels like the common

public is ignorant of the little thorns living within them; just

waiting to be watered and grow into dark poisonous wines that could

twist and strangle through anybody. Kurtz continues to live in Marlow,

and would remind him of the terror and horror, hidden in the heart of

the jungle and in the heart of each one of us.
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