Heart Of Darkness In Relation To Its Title

1358 words - 5 pages

The Parallel meaning of the novella with its title- Heart of Darkness
The title, Heart of Darkness, aptly chosen, can be very strongly linked to the novel. IT can be used to describe Joseph Conrad’s views on civilization, the individual mind and the land into which he ventures. These sum up his opinions on the bourgeoise society, uncivilized society and the faults of human nature, linking them to the land under one common theme and thus establishing the title.
‘Heart of Darkness’ can most noticeably describe Marlow’s journey into the heart of the land. A dominant symbol in the novel is of the river- the snake- “But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled with its head to the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of a land” (71). This river brings him into what has become a ‘dark’ place- “It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery- a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness” (71). As in snakes and ladders, you start at the head and go towards the tail. This leads him into evil (snake symbolism), danger (uncoiled), and deeper towards Kurtz, whom the snake has swallowed towards the tail. As he travels along, just as the snake’s body grows thinner, so do the tolerance levels of those who think they are civilized. First Fresleven clubs a black village chief, then a brawl breaks out, and this progresses to all-out insanity, where cannibals, primitives, Inca-like natives and, eventually, Kurtz, reside, where he loses any control he had of his life, doing anything for more ivory, and realizes this in his dying moments. Marlow again mentions heading into the ‘heart of darkness’ when he says, “The best way I can explain it to you is by saying that, for a second or two, I felt as though, instead of going to the centre of a continent, I were about to set off for the center of the earth///The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf, ran straight, like a ruled line, far, far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist.” (78). Surrounded by dark jungle and distant mist, he knows his journey will be a blind one, one where he is new and possibly unwelcome. Also, by saying he felt he was headed towards the center of the earth rather than the continent, he refers to the earth’s core, where in religion and folklore hell resides. With this, all he knows about his impending journey is that it will be a voyage into chaos and, ultimately, death. Where the setting depicts heading into the heart of darkness, one can only begin to grasp the relationship of inside to outside, of hell to the norm. This is even existent in civilization as well as individuals, who are hosted and somewhat intensified by Conrad’s use of the land.
Although Conrad wrote this novella before the psychological era of Freud (and in some...

Find Another Essay On Heart of Darkness in Relation to its Title

Elements of Darkness in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness

1284 words - 5 pages Elements of Darkness in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness       In both Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness certain elements of darkness attempt to show how deep one must look inside themselves to discover the truth. Conrad portrays the idea of the darkness of the human heart through things such as the interior of the jungle and it's immensity, the Inner Station, and Kurtz's own twisted deeds. Coppola's heart of darkness is represented

Restraint in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

4025 words - 16 pages , which is associated with the heart--the source of human passion, aspirations, ardor, etc. But if one accepts the title as meaning, in essence, "the heart which has the quality of being dark," one has to consider the associations of "darkness." Though darkness ordinarily connotes evil, Conrad brings still more ambiguities about light and dark into the mix as the novel progresses. Ivory, a constant presence in the novel, gains associations with

Light and Dark in Heart of Darkness

1294 words - 5 pages remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar"(Conrad 108). The Africans were the personification of the human spirit in its purest form and it is for this reason that Marlow found kinship with them.   Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness is a deeply symbolic work that explores the dark taint that exists within every human soul. Conrad used the contrasting images of white and black to illustrate his view that evil exists

Prejudice and Racism in Heart of Darkness?

890 words - 4 pages Heart of Darkness: Racist or not?   Many critics, including Chinua Achebe in his essay "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness", have made the claim that Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, despite the insights which it offers into the human condition, ought to be removed from the canon of Western literature. This claim is based on the supposition that the novel is racist, more so than other novels of its time

The Other in The Heart of Darkness

2506 words - 10 pages Author's Last Name PAGE 1 [The Author's Name][The Professor's Name][The Course Title][Date]The Presence of "The Other" in Heart of Darkness and UlyssesThe Africans in the Heart of DarknessIt is an imbedded story of an adventurous Englishman who undertakes a journey into the primitive Congan jungle in order to rescue a strangely successful Ivory merchant, Kurtz, from the dangers posed by the unknown African people, the greed of his Belgian

Irony in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1044 words - 4 pages Irony in Heart of Darkness      The use of irony within the ‘The Heart of Darkness’ by Conrad is an important notion.  Irony in this novella helps to bring about encapsulating self-discovery and enlightenment of the self.  Furthermore the use of characters and what they represent also brings about communicating what it means to be civilised.  Thus these two facets shall be the focus within my essay. Firstly each of the main characters

Nihilism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

3424 words - 14 pages Nihilism in Heart of Darkness       Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) challenges readers to question not only society's framework but more importantly the existence of being. Through the events involving Marlow and Kurtz, Conrad communicates a theme of the destruction of Being, "including that way of being which we call 'human' and consider to be our own" (Levin, 3). This theme is more clearly defined as nihilism, which involves the

A Journey into Darkness in Heart of Darkness

1542 words - 6 pages made of cloth and glittering bronze.          The interconnection of Kurtz, evil, and ivory had far-reaching ramifications in Marlow's tale.  "Heart of Darkness," was ostensibly a journey, Marlow's, to the source of evil and power up the Congo; and yet the reader recalls mainly stagnation.  Time and space were halted in that jungle outpost, and Kurtz, that demon of energy, was ill, passive, awaiting death

Character Growth in Conrad's Heart of Darkness

3006 words - 12 pages Character Growth in Conrad's Heart of Darkness          Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness explores the intellectual, emotional and moral growth of characters throughout the novella. This character growth has been a recurring theme in literature, with the poet William Blake, among many others, exploring theories of the movement between innocence to experience. Although Conrad does not strictly address character growth in this manner

Conrad's technique in "Heart of Darkness"

824 words - 3 pages live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision-he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breathe: ‘The horror! The horror!’”Brief Commentary about Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”All along the story, when referring to the trip Marlow would talk about the darkness that surrounded the

Women in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

760 words - 4 pages In Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness, women are portrayed as being inferior to men in nearly every way. Two of the story’s main characters, Charlie Marlow and Mr. Kurtz, appear to view women as weak and powerless objects, trapped in a world of fantasy all their own. In this novella, women are treated as merely the trophies of men. Their purpose in society, however, is left uncertain through the entire novella. Towards the beginning

Similar Essays

Heart Of Darkness A Product Of Its Time

1890 words - 8 pages Heart of Darkness being written at the turn of the 19th century is a product of its time. During this time in history Imperialism was at its highest and Britain was everywhere as the saying goes, "The sun never sets on Great Britain", but during this time racism against minorities was at its highest aswell and Africans by many were considered by many to be inferior. Conrad's liberal use of derogatory outdated and offensive terminology can at

Colonialism In Heart Of Darkness Essay

1418 words - 6 pages Europeans are accustomed to thinking of fascism and communism as the twin evils of this century. But the century has really been home to three great totalitarian systems "“ fascism, communism and colonialism "“ the later practiced at its most deadly in Africa. In the West we don't want to recognize this because we were complicit in it. (Straus) bibliography: Cox, C.B., ed. Conrad: Heart Of Darkness, Nostromo, and Under Western Eyes. Hong

Isolation In Heart Of Darkness Essay

869 words - 4 pages Have you ever been alone? Felt alone? With only yourself and your mind? Eventually our mind takes over, and makes up for the solitude. With isolation comes time, and with to much of it, can be harmful. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness many of the characters are alone in there own way. Marlow finds himself on a journey feeling nothing but blank space between the few people around him, and like no one understands what’s going on with him and

Close To The Heart Of Darkness

1433 words - 6 pages Close to the Heart of Darkness (a close reading of a passage from the novel) The passage from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness that I am going to examine is a turning point in the novel. The main character, Marlow, and together with him the reader finally arrive at the rim of darkness. Throughout the pervious pages of the novel, there have been hints of the futility, ruthlessness, and absurdity of life at the frontier of the civilized world