Conrad's "The Heart Of Darkness". Essay

3055 words - 12 pages

In Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" there are many controversies. In this paper I wish to discuss two of them: light vs. dark and black vs. white. I will write about the differences between Conrad's perception of what and why he wrote the characters as he did and Marlow's ways of acting in the story because of the way Conrad wrote his character that reminds me so much of Conrad. I wish to incorporate quotes that will help me describe me feelings toward this story and the characters in which I will write about.There is a genuine contrast between what is light and what is dark. These contrasts work within the truth of what is considered educated and uneducated: the light, which is representing civilization or the cultured side of the world, and the dark, which is representing the uncivilized or savage side of the world. Throughout the book, there are a number of references to these two contrasts. In Conrad's story, dark and light have the usual implications of evil and good.The setting also plays a significant role in describing how Marlow feels about the whole escapade he suffered. From the beginning of the tale, there are signs of what is to come. The colors of things and items help to predict the disaster that is to come to Marlow. Marlow creates a mood of darkness about the present and about the past. The most noticeable characteristic being that the story is told "one evening," in which he says many times throughout his narrative. This time frame goes back to the proposal of darkness being evil. He then tells an account of his adventures to the Congo while waiting for the tide to turn on the Thames River outside of London. This is the initial sight of what is considered civilized and more significantly uncivilized. Marlow begins by talking of the inhabitants of the boat. He clarifies that the owner of the boat is an accountant and a lawyer. This fact alludes to the suggestion of what may be considered refined. He speaks about the lights that are reflected in the water. This also constructs the idea that he deems himself and the travelers of the boat civilized. The fact that these lights, which symbolize good, originate from a vast nation, London also symbolizes good coming from light. On the other hand, he considers the thought that "this also has been one of the dark places of the earth." (1959)However there is a sense of fear that is formed by Marlow. When Marlow tells his civilized friends, at the beginning of the story, there are signs of the hardships and disorders that are going to happen to Marlow. The most fascinating foreshadows arise when Marlow appears at the Belgian company's office. The women are weaving black wool. This is possibly a symbol of what is to come. Another symbolic warning is word that his predecessor, the prior riverboat captain, had died. This again shows the evil Marlow is shortly to come upon. The meaning of these two events is that the black characterizes evil. Marlow then goes on to state that "the river was...

Find Another Essay On Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness".

The Character of Marlow in Conrad's Heart of Darkness

921 words - 4 pages The Character of Marlow in Heart of Darkness     Sifting through the detailed descriptions of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness provides tremendous insight into the character of Marlow. Conrad’s words paint Marlow’s personality as selfish and steady. Marlow can be an amazingly selfish character. You have to wonder if that was his conscious attempt to stay sane or if it was truly how he interacted. While in the outer station Marlow observed

The Role of Women in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1042 words - 4 pages The Role of Women in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Women have taken an increasingly important role in literature. Only recently have authors portrayed women in a dominant, protagonistic light. Sophocles and other classical writers portrayed women more as reactors than heroines. Since the ancient Greeks, however, a trend has been established that gives women characters much more substance and purpose. A definite shift from the

Changing the Meaning of Conrad's Heart of Darkness

2823 words - 11 pages Changing the Meaning of Conrad's Heart of Darkness     Unless one is aware of what the critics are doing in their redefining, one can easily be led, especially with Miller, into a reading of Heart of Darkness quite different from Conrad's. The redefinition of terms made by the three critics (Karl, Thomas, and Miller) increases in subtlety and danger. Karl is brazen in his redefining of metal and few, and he blatantly disregards Conrad's

The Failure of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

899 words - 4 pages In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Kurtz fails for many reasons and in many ways. Kurtz's failure is especially tragic because he once had the potential for great success. He was an eloquent, powerful, and persuasive speaker who at one point was adored by all the inhabitants of the heart of darkness, the great and mysterious jungle. Everyone from the innocent natives to the administration of his corrupt company was in awe of him. Why then

Joseph Conrad's The Women of Heart of Darkness

685 words - 3 pages Joseph Conrad's The Women of Heart of Darkness      The novella Heart of Darkness illustrates readers with three different types of depictions that men had of women during the late 1800’s; also known as the imperialistic era. These depictions were as follows; the naive woman, the mistress, and the wealthy widow. The naïve woman was personified by Kurtz intended. The mistress was personified by the native African woman. The wealthy widow is

The Meaning of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1363 words - 5 pages The Meaning of Heart of Darkness     Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has a symbolic meaning behind its title like many other great works of literature. The title can actually be interpreted in many different ways. One way the title can be looked at is that it portrays how Conrad viewed the continent of Africa. It might also represent entering into a more primitive society, witnessing humans transforming from civilized to savage. Perhaps

Conrad's Heart of Darkness and the Dehumanization of Africans

3005 words - 12 pages ; these authors have thoroughly rehabilitated me towards Africans in literature. Only a few billion more to go until Achebe can call his project a success.   Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays. New York: Anchor, 1990. -- -- --. No Longer at Ease. London: Heinemann, 1960. -- -- --. Things Fall Apart. 1958. The Norton Anthology of World

The Major Themes of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1299 words - 5 pages The two major themes of Heart of Darkness are the conflict between “reality” and “darkness,” and the idea of restraint and whether or not it is necessary. Conrad’s passage describing the restraint of the hungry cannibals exemplifies both themes:  It describes how reality shapes human behavior, and contrasts the characters of Kurtz and Marlow.  “Reality,” as it is used here, is defined as “that which is civilized.”        Conrad emphasizes

The Freudian Model in Conrad's Heart of Darkness

928 words - 4 pages The Freudian Model in Heart of Darkness       In my essay I intend to prove Joseph Conrad's use of the Freudian model of the human mind, as portrayed in his characterization of Marlowe, Kurtz, and the "wilderness". Further, using that model I will explicate Conrad's ambiguous tone in Heart of Darkness. First, I must define each figure in Conrad's novel with its appropriate Freudian psyche. These psyche are defined in an essay by Ross

The White Collars in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

701 words - 3 pages The White Collars in Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Charles Marlow relates to his listeners aboard the Nellie the story of his service with a European company operating in the African Congo. Arriving in this European country to interview for employment, Marlow recalls, "I arrived in a city that always makes me think of a white sepulchre. Prejudice no doubt" (73). But whose prejudice is he speaking of: his or that

The Feminine Presence In Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness"

1785 words - 7 pages In Joseph Conrad's novella "Heart of Darkness" there are no less than eight women: the Belgian aunt of Marlow; the two sinister women at the Company offices; that Marlow regards as the guardians of "the door of Darkness" ; the "wife of high dignitary" whom Marlow's aunt recommends him for employment in Africa; the African laundress for the Company's chief accountant; Kurtz's Intended; Kurtz's mother who died shortly after Marlow returns to

Similar Essays

The Descriptiveness Of Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1367 words - 5 pages Heart of Darkness was written by Joseph Conrad in 1902. Before it was published it appeared in a 3-part series in Blackwood’s magazine. The story tells of a detailed incident when Marlow who takes over the assignment of the captain of a ferry-boat travels into the darkness. He was employed by the Belgian Trading company. Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver; however while doing his job, he comes across a person called Kurtz to whom he

Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness Essay

610 words - 2 pages Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad, like many authors, used his own experiences for the basis of his novels. Specifically, Conrad’s journey on the Congo River as captain of a West African river steamer formed the basis for his novel Heart of Darkness. In this novel, the narrator of the story, Marlow, Conrad's protagonist, travels up the Congo in search of Kurtz, an ivory trader, and eventually ends up in the “heart of darkness.” Conrad also

Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness. Essay

1390 words - 6 pages Sameer BhavnaniDr. Alex TothEnglish 1AMay 23, 2003Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness"We have to be very chary about pontificating on the "totality of meaning" of "Heart of Darkness."' Written by Harold Collins, who believes when you read the book one should not come to easy conclusions. (104) Many scholars such as Ian Watt speculate that Joseph Conrad was a racist, writing, "...using the word "cannibal" to describe natives of Africa

Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness Essay

693 words - 3 pages Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" written in 1902 is an overwhelming chronicle of Marlow's journey into the heart of the African continent. It is one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century. In this ghastly and horrific tale, Marlow leads an expedition up the Congo River, only to find everything is not as it seems. This haunting and mysterious story takes him into the