The theme of time is portrayed throughout the whole story of “Heart of Darkness”. At the beginning of “Heart of Darkness” Conrad starts out with a group of seaman on a ship called the Nellie at rest, the start of the theme of time, “ The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide,” (Conrad 252). This quotation at the very beginning suggests that even though time is moving forward, it is still frozen for the Nellie. As the story progresses the reader is able to tell that time has continued on as normal, “ And at last, in its curved and imperceptible, the sun sank low, and glowing white changed to a dull red without rays and without heat, as if about to go out suddenly, stricken to death by the touch of that gloom brooding over a crowd of men” (Conrad 252). This quotation shows that the time most likely started around the early or late afternoon, but ended at sunset until night came. It might not seem like time has continued to the reader, but by imagining you are part of the seaman crew, you can see that time has continued. Another example of time is when Marlow commences in his storytelling, “ I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago- the other day….,” (Conrad 254). This q...
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...ed, but from the work that he does, not only alone, but with the help of a cannibal crew member. It may not seem that Marlow is showing a lot of power, though if you look closely you can see that, his power is bigger and brighter than Kurtz’s, big and darker power. Even while he is telling the story about, Kurtz and the Congo, his listeners respect him, and his power.
TIme is nothing, but something that helps us find our identity and gain our power. Joseph Conrad took us on an adventure using Marlow and Kurtz as the key characters and the Congo River as the key point. With Marlow and Kurtz, Conrad was able to show us that with time our identity changes, and our power grows. But, time, new identity, and new power growth is not always a good thing, as Conrad has shown us through Kurtz. Time is identity, identity is power, and time is power and nothing more.
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