Every story has a plot, but not every story has a deeper meaning. When viewed superficially, 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 warts as well as the wonderful. Conrad uses this theme of light and darkness to contrast the civilized European world with the savage African world in Heart of Darkness.
In 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).
Two central themes occur in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The first is the struggle between the white people and the native tribes, which plays in...
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...ok and also provides its title.
In Heart of Darkness, there is a real contrast between what is light and what is dark. These contrasts work within a reality of civilized and savage. It appears that light represents the civilized, and dark represents the uncivilized, but truly, white is evil, and the dark is innocent and virtuous.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart 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.
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