The novel places us into the epicenter of mysterious Congo Jungle, full of darkness, savagery, greed and death. Marlow is another ruined soul trying to conquer the desolation and disturbance of the Congo River. The gloominess of the setting is encouraged by dirty with silt river water, and hot tropically climate; which at times is almost excruciating. The journey up the river might symbolize a road to hell, encountering no salutary and positive things, yet encouraging suffering and physiological breakdown. The story takes places during a turbulent colonial period of Africa.
Kurtz murders and pillages for ivory, long after he gets sick. It becomes a desperate race for him, trying to collect all of the ivory in Africa; even after he succumbs to the sickness that Africa provides. All of the characters in the book become sick because of the effects of imperia... ... middle of paper ... ... make it harder for them to move through the wilderness. This comes from the fact that Africa mostly just wants the agents to leave. Marlow also recognizes that the forest is impenetrable (Conrad 40).
Through out this novel a lot of different themes are present, and is very graphic but it can be seen that even at the end Marlow questions his sanity because of the jungle. Even the thick taste of the jungle is dangerous as Marlow says in the final lines of the book. “The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky – seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.” (96)
The men are stripped of their culture as they strip an entire landmass of its treasure. Yet, each man understands that to an extent, what he is doing is wrong. Humankind is sick, in many ways do people attempt to cure their sickness. These ivory hunters are attempting to self-medicate through the acquisition of wealth and power, and end up hurting themselves and the ones that they love. This is the heart of man’s darkness.
With extremely deprecating language and poor representation, Joseph Conrad silences the native Africans in Heart of Darkness by glorifying the savagery and inferiority of the natives as compared to the whites. In doing so, Marlow’s internal battle of understanding human versus inhuman and seeing the natives as men akin to himself, is clearly established and understood by readers. Works Cited Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer. New York: Signet Classic, 1997.
Humanity is inherently evil, and this only increases when they are removed from civilization and God. What was once considered immoral and wrong suddenly becomes normal and okay, such as Marlow and his view on lying. One night, while Marlow sees the uncle extending his flipper to the manager, his nephew, he realizes that in order to succeed in the Company he will have to accept evil and darkness (Conrad). Humanity has embraced its darkest parts of nature while on the hunt to fulfill their obsession with ivory and wealth. Darkness takes on the form of depravity, greed, madness, and cruelty.
Elliot’s poem, he was one of the “lost and violent souls.” His lack of moral or spiritual strength to sustain him caused him to turn into a barbarian. Kurtz becomes aware of this when he is close to dying, and that is why he mentions, “The horror! The horror!” One of the biggest and probably most important themes in this novella is the effects and outcome of imperialism in Africa. Kurtz is a perfect example of how the Europeans went into Africa to “civilize” the Africans but ended up failing in doing... ... middle of paper ... ...on a river in the middle of a jungle, the Congo River in the book and the Nung River in the movie. Based on personal observations, it seemed that both Marlow and Willard were traveling upstream as opposed to downstream, and one could only assume that going upstream would be more difficult than going downstream.
Trying to rationalize the situation, Marlow tells himself that these Africans are criminals, and somehow deserve their ... ... middle of paper ... ... Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now are put together to create an amazing understanding of the real savagery of man and the true definition of civility for the reader and viewer. Apocalypse Now was set in the jungle amongst the animals and the savages. Yet it is the soldiers who were the true savages. The Accountant is blinded by the dark chaos that surrounds the camp, and similarly, the Colonel is unaware of the death and destruction occurring around him. The savagery deep down in the hearts of these men truly shows itself with the Africans and the Vietnamese.
Darkness becomes a symbol of hatred, fear and symbol of the power of evil. Marlow begins his story believing that these elements exists within the jungle, then with the natives and finally makes the realization that darkness lives within the heart of each man, even himself. People must learn to restrain themselves from giving into the "darkness." Marlow discusses at one point how even suffering from starvation can lead a man to have "black" thoughts and restraining oneself from these thoughts would be almost impossible in such hardship.
The white city of Brussels, that sends white men after the white ivory, comes into conflict with the dark Congo jungle, home to the black natives. The cruelty of the white man to the innocent natives shows Conrad’s use of light and dark imagery to emphasize the deception of character appearances. Throughout the novella, the light is viewed as more menacing and evil than the darkness, and the white characters more corrupt than the black. In the end, Conrad’s story is about the penetration of a corrupt light into darkness, and the consequences that ensue when darkness is tainted.