Light and Dark in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

Light and Dark in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

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Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness  

 
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a tragic tale of the white man's journey into the African jungle. When we peel away the layers, however, a different journey is revealed - we venture into the soul of man, complete with the darkness of depravity as well as the wonderful. In this essence Conrad uses this theme of light and darkness to contrast the civilized European world with the savage African world in Heart of Darkness.

As aforementioned, within Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses light and dark to symbolize good and evil, respectively.

"It is whiteness that is truly sinister and evil, for it symbolizes the immoral scramble for loot by the unscrupulous and unfeeling Belgian traders in ivory and human flesh; the whiteness of ivory is also contrasted with the blackness of the natives whose lives must be destroyed for its sake" (Gillon 25).

In other words there is a perversion of light and dark and what they represent.  The characteristic of ivory is its colour of white, but rather then being associated with purity and all that it is good, it re...


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... of Darkness. Middlesex, England: Penguin Publishers, 1983.

Gillon, Adam. (1982). Joseph Conrad. Twayne's English Author Series: Number 333. Kinley E. Roby, ed. Boston: Twayne.

"Joseph Conrad." The Encarta 1998 Encyclopedia Online. Microsoft, 1998.

Kunitz, Stanley J. "Joseph Conrad." Twentieth Century Authors: Vol. T. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1942. 307-9

Stape, J.H.. The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, Derek. Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The Explicator. No.4 Summer 1998: 195-8.

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