Essay on Heart of Darkness

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Heart of Darkness

The dark thoughts, which are usually ignored and not allowed to be brought up in conversation, are pushed back into the remote corners of the mind, but have the ability to run free when man is in his most vulnerable state. Sleep, the unconscious. It is in dreams where twisted stories of malevolence and horror take place. The soul’s core is full of sin from the first minute man is born. Even Adam, the original man, who was born when the earth began its timeline, has sin running through his blood. He was God’s first human creation, but destined to fall into the hands of the devil. Illustrated through chiaroscuro, every man has a heart of darkness that is drowned out by the light of civilization. However, when removed
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Marlow’s sensations, as he travels up the river, and back in time, are unique to him and cannot be fully shared with another man, because that man has not walked in Marlow’s shoes, with the same perception and mind. Although the “devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire” (pg. 81) shine through the darkness of the jungle, Marlow can never bring himself to fully condemn the imperialist project in Africa because it would threaten his identity as a European. As he encroaches along the path of self-discovery, “beating on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (The Great Gatsby, pg. 189) the first glimpses of what man is really made up of are too much to bear. The harsh descriptions of the white man’s brutality against the natives arise queasiness in any sane person. To admit that Marlow is part of this absurd form of living would characterize him a savage, something a white man could never be, since evil is symbolized through dark colors. Marlow is confronted with a series of exteriors and surfaces, such as the river’s banks and the forest walls around the station, which he must interpret in order to see its true purpose for being. The exterior of a person’s face can tell the story of their past, whether they have suffered for the majority of their lives or have lived a sheltered lifestyle. A man can be considered good until he is faced with a dilemma. The true nature of himself is depicted through