lighthod Light and Dark in Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Light and Dark in Conrad's Heart of Darkness

In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the author adverts to the idea that the "entrapment of light by darkness [that] is continually suggested" (Bloom 46) is comparative to Marlow's personality and perspective of his expedition down the Congo River. Light symbolizes any object or concept that is positive while darkness represents anything that elicits malice. The way in which Conrad approaches the novel by using darkness constantly prevail over light shows a continual theme of foreboding and gloom. Everything that shows vibrancy is illuminated through Conrad's words. These symbolisms and representations have a undeviating effect on the personality and perspective of the protagonist, Marlow. Conrad's use of a frame tale is exceedingly important when the character that is sharing his recollections has an altered perception. One may scrutinize the perspective of the African landscape as a natural wonder and not a foreboding nightmare as Marlow illustrates. The altered perception of Marlow, as using darkness as a victor of light, exhibits that Conrad utilizes the frame tale as a scapegoat for his personal perspective. The accounts of the narrative are the actual happenings of Conrad's individual journey up the Congo River. The reader, through Marlow's speech, can visualize any given atmosphere described in the book. Unfortunately, there are not any existing neutral settings throughout the book. The landscapes are either overcome by darkness or light. The effect of this darkness or light has a direct corollary to the reader.

Immediately the reader recognizes a contrast between the peaceful European setting and the disarray of t...

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...a dream"(24.). Marlow suddenly becomes aware of his immediate listeners and speaks directly to them as individuals. These listeners are, in essence, the reader. Conrad realizes that at certain junctures in his story the reader may lose interest. As a repercussion, Conrad institutes particular statements that maintain the intellectual involvement of the reader. Once again when Marlow detects disinterest and fiercely responds to someone sighing he questions the integrity of the listener. He automatically assumes that the listener sighs because of the absurdity of what is being stated: "Why do you sigh in this beastly way, somebody?"(43.). As Marlow continues, the intermittent utterances regarding the reader's involvement play a pivotal role in developing the contrast between darkness and light as Marlow nears the actual "heart of darkness."

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