Heart Of Darkness

819 Words4 Pages
Darkness is within us, whether we like it or not. However, the only thing that can conquer darkness is light. What happens if there is no light? This dilemma is explored in Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness. Throughout the novel, Conrad successfully uses darkness as a symbol through the use of flies, ivory and Marlow’s journey through the Congo River. Throughout the novel, Conrad shows how as people explore the unknown they tend to lose their innocence as they are exposed to the negative aspects of life. One’s perspective might be different from another’s, similarly, darkness can be seen in many different ways. One of the ways darkness can be seen is through death. As Marlow’s journey continues, he encounters many flies. Whenever an…show more content…
Being lost there is horrifying as one may experience the true darkness of the river. As Marlow and his crew travel upstream towards Kurtz, they struggle, which makes it seem that the river does not want them to go there. This reveals that the river is trying to expel all the light remaining and trying to embrace the darkness. Additionally, Marlow’s steamboat gets caught in a white fog. The colour white represents purity, however, in this case it illustrates darkness. The white fog distorts Marlow and his crew’s vision as a result, they have no idea what lies ahead in the open dark river. Marlow and his team become afraid as they wonder what is going to happen next. Due to this, the darkness which lurks in their thoughts grabs a hold of them. Later on in the novel, Marlow decides that he will go into the yellow colour which is dead in the centre, furthermore, he says “the river was there—fascinating—deadly—like a snake” (14). Conrad depicts the Congo River as a snake, which reveals that the river holds a sense of danger and adds onto the illustration of darkness. In summary, Conrad uses the nature of the river as a symbol to successfully express the true inner darkness. Overall, Conrad successfully manages to use darkness as a symbol. Conrad expresses this by using the flies, ivory and Marlow’s journey through the Congo River. This goes to show that when one explores the unknown, it can cause them to experience and acquire
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