Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

1076 WordsJun 16, 20165 Pages
Written in the late 1800’s, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a novella about one man’s travel into the Congo Free State by way of the Congo River. The title “Heart of Darkness” actually holds two different meanings. Heart of Darkness is both a metaphor for a psychological “dark side” of man, and an allusion to Africa. The title suggests both a physical and mental reference. During the time the novel takes place, Africa was nick-named the dark continent because of how little the Europeans knew about Africa. In reference to the title, the main character in the novel, Marlow describes Africa as “a place of darkness” (Conrad 43). He compares the Congo river to a snake: its head in the sea, its body curving over a country, and its tail in the deep of the land (Conrad 5). Because of how little was known about Africa, it was considered both a mystery and a challenge to Europeans. Another mystery Africa held for Europeans was the native ‘‘savages’’. Savages was the all-encompassing term the whites use to refer to all natives, despite any differing origins. In this novel, the savages ranged from the workers dying of starvation and sickness at the Outer Station to the cannibals who worked on Marlow 's boat to the tribe of natives who worship Kurtz as a powerful deity. The dense jungle that covers the land in darkness in the novella, is another literal reference to the darkness alluded to in the title. Marlow describes the travel on the edge of a colossal jungle, to be so dark

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