The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

The Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad Essay

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The novel, The Heart of Darkness, is written by Joseph Conrad. Throughout the story he puts many literary devices to use. The most apparent method he used was the symbolism of light and darkness. Marlow, the narrator, throughout the story makes the Europeans which are white, equivalent to the light in the world, while he makes the Africans, whom are black, equivalent to the darkness in the world. As Marlow proceeds further into the Inner Station, the darkness and lightness symbols mix with meanings that make them contradictory to what they normally mean. In this novel, the author twists the common understanding of symbols of light and darkness into being something that they typically are not.
Belgium had the most colonial control over the Congo in this time period. Be that as it may, Belgium also had an infamous reputation for being the most insatiable colonial power. With the help of his aunt who has friends in the company’s administration, Marlow snags a job with a Belgian company who makes trades in the Congo. Marlow then stops to say goodbye to his aunt, while he is there she proceeds to tell him that she wants him to aid the Africans in the area of civilization on the side while he’s working. She talks about disengaging those “ignorant millions from their horrid ways” (Conrad). Marlow knows that he cannot complete his aunt’s request because he knows that the company he works for only operates for profit and money, not for the good of mankind or humanity. Likewise, the head-honchos of the company explain their excursions into the Congo by saying that they are on a mission to civilize the savages. It is clear, that Held stated, that “imperialism has acquired a new form as formal empires have been replaced by new mechanisms of...


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...withered; it had taken him, loved him, embraced him, got into his veins, consumed his flesh, and sealed his soul to its own by the inconceivable ceremonies of some devilish initiation” (Conrad). Not passing a certain boundary of course, Marlow’s continuance of non-violently hunting Kurtz is an excellent example of how the actual human nature portrayed by Kurtz is tempting to Marlow.
In the novel, as Marlow journeys deep through the Congo, he not only discovers the evil in imperialism and the darkness in the world, but he also sees the true evil behind humanity. Marlow sees that people are never who they say they are, and people’s motives are never what they say they are. Using these valuable symbols, Conrad builds a story involving the hypocritical portion of imperialism and the evil side of humanity when societal controls are not in the picture to influence anyone.

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