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...

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