Heart Of Darkness Analysis

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In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad suggest that true human existence cannot prevail productively without the dynamics of society. Throughout numerous scenes in the novel, Conrad stresses the necessity of societal restraints through Kurtz’s inability to prosper as a human being when he is removed from the expectations of civilization. In the scene above, Marlow’s myopic observations of Kurtz reveals Conrad’s theme by illustrating the annihilation of Kurtz’s essential human characteristics as he descends into a barbaric lifestyle absent of the norms of society. Not only does the above scene support Conrad’s main theme, but it portrays his writing style, characterization of Marlow, and symbolism as used throughout the novel. Conrad’s distinguished style emerges in this scene as he utilizes fragmented sentences and poetic imagery to recount Marlow’s venture to Kurtz’s house. Marlow’s encounter begins with a detailed sentence that has a slow, meditative rhythm, but creates suspense by the addition of interruptive phrasing. Conrad writes, “The woods were unmoved, like a mask—heavy, like the closed door of a prison—they looked with their air of hidden knowledge, of patient expectation, of unapproachable silence.” The author succeeds in creating an uneasy, wary sensation in the atmosphere as the short fragments of the description produces natural tension. “Of patient expectation” and “of unapproachable silence” are crucial to the scene as the phrasing generates cadences that suggest the need for hesitation. The author’s use of phrases rather than long sentences is a functional mechanism that allows for the generic emotional response of fright and punctuates a sense of urgency in the reader. In addition to Conrad’s production of tension, he also creates melodrama through his utilization of poetic imagery. In the scene above, Conrad uses descriptions that are eloquent and hypnotic in contrast to the disturbing topics he is discussing. The author writes, “ and there it was, black, dried, sunken, with closed eyelids—a head that seemed to sleep at the top of that pole.” The sentence has a melodic stylistic form employed by Conrad, but describes the grotesque, shrunken heads of natives decorating Kurt’s house. This

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